The Government has provided $125,000 to the National Museum of Australia to purchase a rare female Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) pelt.

The skin dates back to 1923 and is one of only 45 known complete adult pelts. It hung on the wall of a New Zealand canoe hire business and taxidermy museum for many years until its rarity was recognised by a group of visiting Victoria University of Wellington students. The pelt was returned to Australia from New Zealand for conservation in 2018. 

It is one of the few remaining complete thylacine specimens and has high scientific, cultural and historical significance because of its condition. There are still traces of DNA on the pelt, which may hold potential for further analysis and research. 

The funding is provided through the National Cultural Heritage Account and will be matched by the NMA. The NMA holds the largest single collection of thylacine organ specimens in the world. 

The Government’s National Cultural Heritage Account assists institutions to acquire significant Australian historical objects and ensure they are preserved in Australia for public display.

Image courtesy of the National Museum of Australia

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