Due to its tiger-like stripes, the thylacines was also called as Tasmanian tigers. Like other marsupials, every female thylacine has a marsupium, or a “pouch”, on its abdomen.
The thylacines mainly inhabited the grasslands of Australia and the island of Tasmania,which is located southeast to the mainland. Initially, there were a large number of thylacines. When humans first set their feet in Australia five thousand years ago, the dogs they brought along (which later evolved into dingoes) competed with the thylacines for food.
The decrease of food sources forced the thylacines to prey on the sheep raised by the human settlers. Angered, the livestock breeders regarded them as enemies and called them the "cruel murderers of sheep." In 1888, the Australian government even encouraged people to exterminate them by offering one British Pound per thylacine killed. However, it was only until 21 years later that this policy had been abolished.
In 1930, the last wild thylacine was shot dead by farmers in a small town of Tasmania. Six years later, Benjamin, which was the only thylacine raised by humans, died out of the mistake made by a zoo-keeper. From then on, one of Australia's most symbolic native species, the thylacines, are declared extinct.