Lost 86 years ago, the remains of the last marsupial wolf found in a museum closet

(ORDO NEWS) — The lost remains of the last known marsupial wolf have been found in a museum closet in the Australian state of Tasmania.

The last known marsupial wolf named Benjamin died at the Hobart Zoo on September 7, 1936. There are no records of him left in the records of the zoological collection. It was assumed that the body of the wolf was destroyed.

Scientists have learned that the carcass of the animal entered the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, but was not properly cataloged.

“For many years, museum curators and researchers have searched unsuccessfully for the remains of this animal,” said scientist Robert Paddle.

Recently, Paddle and his curator of vertebrate zoology, Katherine Medlock, found a taxidermist’s report in the museum’s unpublished annual report for 1936-1937.

In it, among the carcasses of other animals on which the specialist worked, the marsupial wolf was mentioned. Experts reviewed the collection of skins and skeletons of marsupial wolves kept in the museum.

“We were able to locate a specimen that was prepared by a taxidermist. He was not given for research, so there are no records of him.

It was used as a teaching aid,” Medlock explained. Paddle stated that the marsupial wolf in question was an elderly female.

She was caught by hunter Elias Churchill in southern Tasmania and sold to the zoo in May 1936.

“The zoo did not record the data on the purchase of the animal, since then the use of traps was illegal, and Churchill could be fined,” the specialist explained.

The marsupial wolf lived in the zoo for only a few months, after which he died, and his carcass was transferred to the museum.

Paddle says the find puts an end to speculation that the last known marsupial wolf was a male named Benjamin. The skin and skeleton of the last known marsupial wolf is on display at the museum.

During the European colonization of Tasmania, marsupial wolves, which were secretive nocturnal animals, were rewarded with generous payouts for killing them, as these predators were believed to harm livestock.

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