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New Footage Offers First-Ever Colorized Look At The Last Surviving Tasmanian Tiger

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A new colorized footage has surfaced on the internet, and it offers a glimpse of Benjamin, the last known Tasmanian Tiger to roam the Earth.


Shot in 1933 in black and white format at the beast’s enclosure at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, the video showing last known thylacine, also known as a Tasmanian tiger, has been converted to color for the first time, showing what the animal really looked like.


The video was shared by the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) of Australia shared on YouTube on Sept. 6, and it offers a proper look at Benjamin, now observed to have yellow fur with black stripes over his back and rump. The clip also showcases a moment where the animal yawns, thereby revealing its incredibly strong jaws and pink tongue.


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Australian naturalist David Fleay captured the footage on 35-millimeter film in December 1933. The film and negative are in the NFSA's collection, and the negative was recently scanned at 4K resolution (horizontal resolution of at least 4,000 pixels) and then colorized under the supervision of film producer Samuel François-Steininger at Composite Films in Paris, NFSA representatives said in a statement.


“Colorizing the footage at such high resolution was challenging because the thylacine's fur was extremely dense, and a lot of hair had to be detailed and animated," François-Steininger said in the NFSA statement. "More than 200 hours of work were needed to achieve this result."


Benjamin died at the Hobart zoo in 1936. After his death, attempts to find another thylacine were unsuccessful, and the species was declared officially extinct in 1986, the National Museum of Australia reported.


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