When i was 17 my family, a few friends, and myself went on a trip to Tasmania for the school holidays, it was to be great fun. Our trip would lead us all around Tasmanias wildest parts including two days when myself and my two friends were aloud to go camping in a national park (we had a permit). On the days that this camping trip took place we were very happy and excited to be aloud to go off and do our own thing. We began by starting on many of the national park walking tracks, this one in particular would take a minimum of 4 hours to get to our destination.
We set off at about 10 am, by 12 pm we were already exhausted so we decided to stop for a break (a long one as it turned out) where we stopped it was simply beautiful, there was a lake beneath us (we were on a hill) the water sparkled blue, the trees green with the luscious leaves still moist with the morning dew, i remember the sun was high and shining in the sky. On the walk we had already seen many wallabies, and birds, even a few small mountain dragons. We even thought we saw a Tasmanian Devil, but it was gone before we could have a good look. Anyway we continued on our trek, by this tim it was around 5 pm when we finally set off again, by this time we had not realised that we would not reach our spot before dark, stupidly this did not phase us as we were still high off excitement.
we continued walking until the started to dissapear from view and the night started to descend. While on the trek we heard many animals, the birds, the small mammals, even some fish splashing, but one thing that caught me and my friends all by surprise was the sound we heard around 6:30 pm, three strange noises, i could only describe them as a sort of sneezing noise, except they were more rattly sounding and much more anamalistic. the sounds echoed through the hills and it was unlike anything any of us had ever heard. The rest of the time of the hike we walked in silence, sometimes we would ask eachother what we thought made the sounds. About 30 minutes after the first set of sounds we heard the same noise, they lasted a bit longer and were more drowned out but they were definitely the same creature. something that i only noticed after we heard them again was that the sound was closer, we were walking towards it. by the time we got to camp it was well into the night, at about 7 pm we reached the camping spot, and yes we do realise that the 4 hour trek took over 9 hours. anyway we set up the tent and got a fire started which wasnt actually aloud but we didnt care. we cooked our meat that we had brought, without thinking that it might attract a devil or some other small predator we through our scraps on the ground and proceeded to laugh and talk until the early hours of the morning when we heard the sound again. either it was following us whatever it was or we had walked right towards it.
we retreated to our tent for the night. i was awoken at sometime in the night, by something rummaging around our camp, instinctively i moved to pull my sleeping bag up, as soon as i moved the sound stopped, i knew whatever it was had heard me. i slowly crept towards the entrance to my tent with my flashlight and unzipped it, i shone the torch out and i couldnt beleive my eyes, what i saw wasnt a dog, or a fox, or a tassie devil, to this day i know i saw perhaps one of the last surviving tasmanian tigers in existence, “holy shit” i heard my one of my best friends behind me say, he was looking at it to. i was releived i wasnt alone in this sighting. we got out of our tent, the torch still on the animal, he just sat there watching us, it looked curious, we slowly walked towards it, he still hadnt moved, we were 5 metres from it at this point and i could see the features of it perfectly, it was just as the photographs looked, the striped, the head, the tail, it was absolutely incredible. he had a scar on his head, i dont know whats out here that could hurt one of these things, to this day i sincerely hope it was one of its own kind that inflicted that scar, that would be amazing.
for anyone who doesnt know, the Tasmanian Tiger was a mammal that people said went extinct in the 1930’s, but ever since then there has been countless sightings of them all over tasmania and australia, me and my friend were lucky enough to be one of those people, i reported my sighting to the thylacene research centre aswell as the national parks.
anyway continuing the encounter, the animal still sat looking and made a deep purring sound before slowly standing up and walking backwards before sprinting away into the bush, my friend because hes a complete idiot chased it, that was the last we ever saw of the tiger, but i am glad that i had the opportunity to be one of the people who not only think but know for a fact that because of some strip of luck the amazing creature that never deserved to die lives on. who knows, what me and my friend saw could have been the last tiger, i hope thats not the fact.
one thing is for sure though, my other friend was definetely pissed off that he missed out on it (he didnt wake up)
Sincerely Max Neason