Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)

The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus: dog-headed pouched-dog) is a large carnivorous marsupial which is thought to have become extinct on the mainland of Australia around 3000 years ago, although they survived into the 20th Century in Tasmania. In Arnhem Land people from all over stone country still have a name for this animal. From Liverpool River Thylacines are known as Djarngilk, near Mann River they are known as Naworlborljah or Nawekke. Near Bulman area there is also a Djang or dreaming site for the Thylacine. Some people believe they changed into the common Archer fish, accounting for the fish’s stripes.

In West Arnhem there are many rock art sites that record the Thylacines presence in the landscape. There are also many stories from the old days, including how they travelled through the escarpment eventually leaving for the south. There are also stories of how people used to keep them as pets although they were also feared and had been known to take small children from camps at night.