Nagorcka thylacine

Nagorcka thylacine still frame

An article was published in December 2007 in the Hamilton Spectator describing some interesting film footage obtained by Robyn Nagorcka.

The story begins 12 months prior when Nagorcka found herself staring at a "sandy coloured animal she thought could be a Tasmanian tiger in the Portland area".

The sighting piqued her interest in extinct marsupials and for the last two months in 2007 she returned to the same location hoping to glimpse the animal again.

In late November 2007 she saw a reddish-brown animal which appeared to have stripes on its tail and hindquarters but she did not have a camera. From that point she always had a video camera in hand and on 22 December 2007 she captured 30 seconds of film footage of an animal that "was brown in colour with stripes on the tail and hindquarter, had a long tail and a large head".

Says Nagorcka "I couldn't believe what was happening and after about 30 seconds I closed the camera; I was so excited and then looked up and saw another adult of the same description with three cubs looking at me ... I rushed home and hooked the camera up to the television for a better look and to me it was pretty clear it was not a fox."

Opinions are currently divided between the very remote possibility the animal is a thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) and the more realistic possibility that it is a mangy fox.

According to the article the footage is being examined by researchers and Where Light Meets Dark will be making inquiries at the first available opportunity to see whether the footage might be made available for an analysis here.

All updates will be announced on this page and the homepage.


  • At a first glance, the general proportions of the animal seem close to the animal captured on film by Liz and Gary Doyle in 1973 in South Australia - west of Nagorcka's sighting (see the 7 still frames at the bottom of every WLMD page)
  • The Doyle footage was captured amidst a flurry of 4 separate sightings by different people within a few weeks in 1972 and 1973
  • Respected thylacine researcher Col Bailey claims he first saw a thylacine at the Coorong in South Australia in 1967 - again, west of Nagorcka's sighting
  • Although thylacines do not have stripes on their tail, they can sometimes give this impression because the vertebra under the skin shape the skin in such a way that they cause shadows to appear - resembling stripes (see Paddle)
  • All confirmed photographs and film footage of thylacines is in black and white. While taxidermies remain, there is still open debate about the range of colours which the thylacine took. It is possible that thylacines existed with fur colours ranging from grey through to tan (or "sandy") and also chocolate brown.

Source article

A scan of the original Hamilton Spectator article is available.

Reader discussion

The following discussion was had at the old WLMD site:

Posted on: 2008-01-30 06:39:33   By: Mobofg


To me it is really a red fox. Man, not knowing the story, If asked, I would say that animal was a red fox, without thinking twice.

Nuno Miguel Tavares

Posted on: 2008-02-03 08:37:01   By: Anonymous
I can say that from the still, it does not resemble a fox to me in the slightest. In my area there are many foxes that come out at night. I have seen them on numerous occasions, and with my knowledge of the Thylacine and comparison with a fox, it doesn't seem to match up. Because the still isn't all that clear and is just one picture, I can't say with certainty what I am lead to believe, but I personally don't see a fox in that picture...not even a mangy one.

Re: Thylacine
Posted on: 2008-02-05 01:55:41   By: admin
Hi both,

I have to say that fox is also my first thought. The hind leg looks to be the wrong proportions for a thylacine even though the tail is held out straight.

It's interesting - as a result of this photo I started viewing footage of foxes running - and they happen to hold their tails dead-straight - exactly like you'd expect of a thylacine.

The similarity was so strong that it even made me rethink the Doyle footage from 1973. Although I have examined many features of both the footage and the animal, I have not given due consideration to the possibility of it being a mangy fox. I also felt that the Doyle animal looked rather small.

I recently acquired a copy of Moeller's German book Der Beutelwolf. In it the author compares relative body proportions between a number of species and the thylacine. I shall have to check it for fox proportions, or, if absent, search the web.

Re: Thylacine
Posted on: 2008-02-07 04:20:04   By: Anonymous

Remember the animal in Doyle's footage is probably a young animal.

To me this animal is a fox. Doyle's is a young thylacine. The way it runs, the ears, that's not like a dog or a fox.

Nuno Miguel Tavares

Re: Thylacine
Posted on: 2008-02-12 07:08:01   By: admin
One more point - you noted the running posture is very fox-like here and that is true. Doyle's thylacine however, has a very very different gait than that of a fox. Tigerman's original comments, noted on the Thylacine Museum website, come to mind: "ran primarily using the power of the back legs, and appeared to grab and pull at the ground with its front feet" - very different to a fox.

Red Fox
Posted on: 2008-03-14 15:40:38   By: Anonymous
  Edited By: anothergecko
On: 2009-07-09 00:41:03
From this single grainy image (which surely was originally taken in colour, and of better resolution, having been filmed in 2007?!) I believe it is clearly a Red Fox. This animal is much too slender for a Thylacine, with a much smaller head and too large of ears. The running style (the way the back legs are held) is typical of a running fox, and clearly different to those of the animal in the Doyle images (which I believe not to be a fox). I still believe it's likely there's the odd Thylacine out there, but this is not the best evidence of that.

Nigel Jackett