Papuan thylacine

Contrary to popular belief, thylacines didn’t just live in Australia, as they also lived in New Guinea based on archaeological finds in the 1960s. According to locals in New Guinea, especially in the Baliem Valley, Wamena, and Mt. Giluwe, there is an unusual dog-like marsupial called the Dobsegna. It is described as resembling a dog, but with black stripes on its back, a straight tail, and a large mouth. Locals are adamant that the Dobsegna isn’t the New Guinea Singing Dog, the only other large carnivorous mammal on the island. They are usually seen at night, as that is when they leave their dens, usually found nestled in caves or under trees.


It was first discovered by outsiders in 1993 by Ned Terry, who investigated reports of a thylacine-like creature allegedly living in the Baliem Valley. Upon showing the local Dani people photographs of a thylacine, they identified it as the "dobsegna."

In the early 1970s, a man named Jan Sarakang claimed to have seen two thylacines, one being a baby emerge from a bush next to his camp near Puncak Jaya. They both had stiff, inflexible tails and massive jaws. They seemed to be attracted by the food he was cooking, and they both slowly walked up to him. Sarakang stood very still and held out a piece of food for them. Eventually, the cub walked up to him, but another man in the camp tried to catch it. The cub quickly bit his hand and ran to what was, presumably, its mother, and scurried into the rainforest and wasn’t seen again. In March of 1997, what was claimed to be a thylacine attacked villagers' livestock in the Jayawijaya District of Irian Jaya, now West Papua.