Extinct Tasmanian tiger brought to life in colour footage

WION Web Team
Sydney Published: Sep 07, 2021, 10:46 PM(IST)

A handout screengrab obtained from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia shows a colourised picture of Tasmanian tiger Photograph:( WION )

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The wolf-like thylacine, known as the Tasmanian tiger because of its striped coat, roamed in Australia and on the island of New Guinea

An 88-year-old archival footage of the last known Tasmanian tiger in captivity was made public in full colourisation, offering a glimpse of the now-extinct animal.

The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) of Australia commissioned the restoration to commemorate National Threatened Species Day, which the country recognizes every September 7.

The date marks the death of Benjamin, the last known Tasmanian tiger, who died in captivity in 1936.

The wolf-like thylacine, known as the Tasmanian tiger because of its striped coat, roamed in Australia and on the island of New Guinea.

The government agency handed the footage to Paris-based Samuel Francois-Steininger, of Composite Films, who completed the painstaking colourisation process over 200 hours.

“The footage was stunning for its age but very challenging to colourise because, apart from the animal, there were few elements in the frame,” Francois-Steininger said in a post on the archive's website.

“And because of the resolution and quality of the picture, there were a lot of details – the fur was dense and a lot of hair had to be detailed and animated,” he added.

The original black and white footage was shot by David Fleay in December 1933 at the city of Hobart's now-defunct Beaumaris Zoo, where the naturalist was reportedly bitten on the buttocks while filming.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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