The Queensland tiger is a cryptid claimed to exist in the Queensland area in eastern Australia. Its appearance is said to be that of a dog-sized, striped feline animal with a long tail and is claimed to be a very fast and agile creature (Welfare & Fairley, 1981). It is thought to be a surviving thylacoleo (scientific name: Thylacoleo carnifex), an extinct marsupial predator, or possibly a large feral cat variant. Described by A. S. le Souef in 1926 as the ‘Striped marsupial cat’ in The wild animals of Australasia it's inclusion in that book reflected that sightings of the animal were received with acceptance at that time.


An animal of similar size and predatory habits did once live in Australia as recently as the late Pleistocene period, perhaps coexisting with the very first humans that arrived at Australia who were the ancestors of modern Australian aborigines. However, scientists estimate that the Thylacoleo went extinct 30,000 years ago. Modern sightings of an animal described to be remarkably like the Thylacoleo have led some researchers to speculate that a small relict population has somehow survived in remote areas. Cryptozoologists who promote the theory of survival of the Tasmanian Tiger, another currently accepted as extinct Thylacinid, also favor proposed survival of The Queensland Tiger. The fundamental difference between the two cases however, is that the last Tasmanian Tiger in captivity died in 1936 and the species was not officially declared as extinct until 1986. This makes the prospect of species survival of the Thylacines more likely than that of the Thylacoleo.

Thylacine or Thylacoleo?[]

In fact, in his 1965 book Furred animals of Australia, Ellis Troughton proposed that Thylacoleo was merely mainland variant of the Thylacine. Similar ideas have been promoted since then, most notably by Victor Albert and Peter Chapple. These theories and variants of them have been discussed in The Fortean Times This has led to some confusion. When discussing sightings of the Queensland Tiger or animals thought to be the Queensland Tiger, people often refer to them as thylacines.

Azaria Chamberlain[]

In OUTBACK Magazine Rock Art historian Percy Trezise suggests that the 1980 Azaria Chamberlain disappearance, was in fact, an example of Thylacinid predation and that the child was not the victim of a Dingo as presumed. The story of the infant's fate and the resulting prosecution of her parents is fictionalised in the in the 1988 film A Cry in the Dark. The presumption that a Thylacynid was responsible for the child's disappearance requires acceptance of the theory that a thylacinid, either thylacoleo or thylacine, has somehow survived in the wild, a theory not widely accepted.

Queensland Tiger in the Media[]

The theory of continued Thylacoleo presence on mainland Australia and Thylacine presence in Tasmania has been covered on various Television shows including an episode of Animal Planet's show Animal X and on The National Geographic Channel