THYLACINE - The Case in Defence

Chapter 9


The year was 1981.

Newly married, Jeff and Alison bought a few acres of scrubby land on the foothills of Mount Arthur near Lilydale. In their minds was the home which 25-year-old Jeff would build - not a fancy one, just neat and comfortable. Jeff and Alison were not fancy people.

In the meantime, Jeff would also set up his own business as an electrician. Alison, no shirker of hard work, would be Jeff’s book keeper and building assistant.

Jeff’s love was hunting, so he was happy to be so close to the bush. Alison was happy to be close to her family and home.

Neither Jeff nor Alison knew about other Tiger sightings in the area. On the other side of the valley just two kilometres away, Janine had seen her Tiger early one morning resting on the chicken coop. She hadn’t told anyone except husband, Fred. They had heard of Buck and Joan’s sighting but didn’t think much about it. They certainly didn’t know it happened on the road a mere ˝ kilometre away!

So, keeping an eye out for a Tiger was far from their minds... until one night when Jeff decided to go out for a rabbit or two for the pot.

He took his favourite .22-calibre rifle, not a camera!

Jeff’s Words

"We had recently bought our property and were in the process of clearing it. I noticed some strange paw marks in the clay by the water hole."

"The marks were not a dog's!"

"One night soon after, I was out spotlighting and getting close to the house when I spotted it. I thought it might be a wild dog and was going to shoot it. Then I thought, ‘no, it’s someone’s nice Labrador.’"

"It looked right at my light. I had him in my sights - it’s a 4X40 scope - then it turned away and then looked back again. I saw its head mainly until it walked away from behind a low bush. It moved sort of fast but not like a dog."

"It was about 9 p.m. and I was downwind of it. He was sort of like a medium to larger dog and was cream coloured. He seemed dark as he turned. His hind quarters sloped away and he shuffled fast instead of bounding. He was drinking from my waterhole and his front legs were fully extended.

"He had a big head, not like a dog. He seemed stiff yet walked very fast.

"I came in and told Allie. Haven’t told many people."

"People I told teased me."

Jeff wasn’t lying!


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