For the first time in more than a century, a giant quoll has been spotted in southern Australia. According to a report in the British newspaper Daily Star, a farmer discovered the animal in a live trap near his chicken coop. The farmer commented: “I was expecting to find a cat, but instead I came across this little creature. It was really incredible. At first I had no idea what it was.” It is the first sighting of a giant quoll in southern Australia in over 100 years.

Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) rangers took a closer look at the captured animal to ensure it had not escaped from captivity. An NPWS spokesman said: “While there have been a few unofficial sightings before, no animal has ever been photographed or held. It’s amazing that something we thought was extinct has turned up on our doorstep. “

The cute animals with spotted fur were last seen in southern Australia more than 130 years ago, around the time of Queen Victoria’s reign. Experts had assumed that the animal, which was classified as “potentially endangered”, had long since become completely extinct in the south of the country. Since the giant quolls occasionally attack chickens, farmers had no mercy for them for a long time – they often fell victim to hunting by humans.

In the north of Australia there is still a small population of around 14,000 animals, in the south the giant quolls were thought to have completely disappeared – until now. With their impressive length of up to 45 centimeters and a weight of up to five kilograms, the animals are the second largest living carnivorous marsupial in the world after the Tasmanian devil.

Sources:  “Daily Star”,  “T-Online”

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