Revelation in the Age of Bigfoot
A Naked Yowie Project Initiative
The Tantanoola Tiger
HOLD THAT TIGER!
by Samela Harris
Walkabout (Volume 34; Number 6)
Date: June, 1968
Page Number: 28-29
In the 1890’s the south-east of S.A., with its high rainfall, lush vegetation and rich volcanic soil, was being settled and farmed rapidly. Then the “tiger” appeared.
Settlers saw him, huge, “grinning, yellow and gleaming with satin stripes”. He was held responsible for killing sheep, sometimes up to 50 in a night. Farmers kept their women and children inside as they set out in packs to hunt down that “tiger”.
Then on August 21, 1895, farmer Fos Donovan shot it. And the proud savage lay bleeding and dying, a small and mangy creature, later “identified” as an Assyrian wolf, believed to have swum ashore from the ship Helena, which had floundered some 20 miles from Tantanoola. The carcase was neatly stuffed, lacquered a little around the gums to give a savage look, and displayed in a glass showcase at the Tiger Hotel in Tantanoola. There the tale of the Tantanoola Tiger rested until a few years ago.
It was 90-year-old man, Alf Warman, of Adelaide, who exploded the myth. “That’s my dog!” he said, when he saw the stuffed tiger at the hotel, in 1957. He explained how he had come to be the owner of the beast that had terrified the district more than 60 years before. His story was later verified from early South Australian records.
Alf Warman was a young survey worker in the growing colony when his brother Ted gave him a young puppy, the offspring of a European deer-hound bitch, imported by a German chemist living in Adelaide, and mated with a blood-hound.
As the pup grew, Mr. Warman found him too large and hungry to keep at his Norwood home, so he was sent to relatives of Norwood’s mayor in the south-east to help kill wild dogs.
Reports of a rampant tiger then begun.
South-eastern residents took casts of the tiger’s spoor marks and sent them to the city for identification. Blacktrackers followed the tiger’s trail through the bracken. Posses of men loaded guns and scoured the scrub. And in the minds of people the tiger grew in size until it was killed. But somehow the myth survived. The South-east is still “tiger country” to many people.
Harris’ article focused on alleged thylacine sightings in “tiger country” in the south-east of South Australia and featured the photo above – now known as the “Ozenkadnook Tiger”. But what is it really?
Below is what is generally considered to be the “head” of the creature:
However, that strange-looking "head" could be an illusion created by the foliage in the foreground. If that is the case, then its actual head could be the darker shape slightly above the illusion as seen below:
The exposed body of the creature does seem to be equine in appearance:
Superimposing the body of a horse over the "Ozenkadnook Tiger" provides a good match:
The striped appearance of the skin does not seem to match up with that of a zebra:
Furthermore, zebras are somewhat more pot-bellied in the torso whereas the creature in the photo is sleek like a horse. Perhaps the striped appearance of the creature is due to 1) the lighting and shading created by the foliage overhead, or 2) is man-made colouring on the horse to create a zebra-like effect - people have done stranger things!
Conclusion: It is most likely that the "Ozenkadnook Tiger" is just a horse.
Aug 18, 2011.
For further information on the Ozenkadnook Tiger see here.
Walkabout was an Australian illustrated magazine published from 1934 to 1974 combining cultural, geographic, and scientific content
with travel literature. Initially a travel magazine, in its forty-year run it featured a popular mix of articles by travellers, officials,
residents, journalists, and visiting novelists.
Modern dynamic layouts and more lively captioning under the editorship (1960-1968)
of Brian McArdle saw a brief increase in circulation due to more liberal, human-interest and cultural content, emulating the AmericanLife magazine (1936-1972). In accounting for its demise, Max Quanchi writes '...it finally struggled against mass circulation weekly
and lifestyle magazines in the early 1970s...'. In fact, Walkabout outlived Life by two years, which also succumbed to increasing
publication costs, deceasing subscriptions, and to competition from other media and newspaper supplements.