Are Tasmanian Tigers coming back from extinction?

Researchers are working to bring back Tasmanian tiger, the marsupial that went extinct about a century ago.

After almost 100 years since its extinction, the world may get to see the Tasmanian tiger once again. Researchers in Australia and the U.S. have embarked on a multi-million dollar project to revive the striped carnivorous marsupial, officially known as a thylacine, which used to roam the Australian bush.

Genetic blueprint

The scientists will be using advances in genetics, ancient DNA retrieval, and artificial reproduction to bring the marsupial back from extinction. The marsupial raises its young in a pouch.

The project will involve several measures incorporating cutting-edge science and technology such as gene editing and building artificial wombs. The scientists plan to take stem cells from fat-tailed dunnart, a living marsupial species with similar DNA. They will then use gene-editing technology to “bring back the extinct species- or an extremely close approximation of it.


The ambitious project is a joint venture with Colossal Biosciences founded by tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm and Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church. The company is also working on a $15-million project to bring back the woolly mammoth which vanished 4.000 years ago, in an altered form.

Last of the species

About the size of a coyote, the thylacine vanished about 2.000 years ago from everywhere except the Australian island of Tasmania. The last thylacine living in captivity named Benjamin died in 1936 at Tasmania’s Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart. This was shortly after the tiger was granted protected status.

It was the only marsupial apex predator that lived in modern times. It also played a key role in its ecosystem.

 The European settlers on the Australian island in the 1800s had accused thylacines for the loss of their livestock. This resulted in the shy semi-nocturnal Tasmanian tigers being hunted down to the point of extinction.

Picture Credit : Google 

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