Dobsegna

Doglike animal of Australasia that resembles a Thylacine .

Etymology: Dani (Papuan) word.

Physical description: Light-brown fur. Strong mouth. Huge jaws. Head and shoulders like a dog. Stripes on the rear portion of its body. Thin tail nearly as long as its body.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Hunts in packs at dawn or dusk. Feeds on small marsupials, pigs, chickens, and birds.

Habitat: Caves and rocky areas in the highlands.

Distribution: Baliem Valley, the central mountains around Wamena, and the Gunung Lorentz National Park of Irian Jaya, Indonesia; Mount Giluwe, Papua New Guinea.

Significant sightings: In 1993, Ned Terry investigated reports that a Thylacine-like animal existed in the Baliem Valley; the local Dani people identified his photos of a Thylacine as the Dobsegna.

In March 1997, a supposed Thylacine attacked villagers' livestock in the Jayawijaya District of Irian Jaya.

Possible explanation: Surviving thylacine, which lived in New Guinea during the Pleistocene.

Sources: Albert S. Le Souëf and Harry Burrell, The Wild Animals of Australasia (London: G. G. Harrap, 1926), p. 332; Karl Shuker, "Thylacines in New Guinea?" Fortean Times, no. 108 (March 1998): 16; "More Tasmanian Tigers," Cryptozoology Review 2, no. 3 (Winter-Spring 1998): 5-6.

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