Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Film of Tasmanian tiger colourised



Film of Tasmanian tiger colourised

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A handout screengrab obtained from NFSA on September 7 shows a colourised picture of the last-known surviving Tasmanian tiger from footage taken in 1933. NFSA/AFP

Film of Tasmanian tiger colourised

Century-OLD footage of the last known Tasmanian tiger in captivity has been brought to life by colourisation, offering a tantalising glimpse of the now-extinct creature.

The wolf-like thylacine, known as the Tasmanian tiger because of its striped coat, roamed in Australia and on the island of New Guinea before dying out about 85 years ago.

Fewer than a dozen snippets of footage – totalling about three minutes of silent, black-and-white film – are known to have survived of the elusive beast.

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia said the longest of these rare clips, an 80-second film of the last known Tasmanian tiger, called Benjamin, has now been colourised.

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 clip shows the carnivorous marsupial pacing around a small enclosure, lying down, sniffing and scratching – its sandy brown coat punctuated by thick dark stripes.

It was released last Tuesday to mark National Threatened Species Day in Australia, which is held each year on September 7 to commemorate Benjamin’s death on the same date in 1936.

The 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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the