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The supposedly extinct thylacine – aka the Tasmanian tiger – continues to attract the imagination of writers and scientists alike. Recent examples include Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks' The Dream of the Thylacine and the Julia Leigh novel The Hunter. The attraction seems to be the relatively recent destruction of a species that once was so wild and so magnificently free. In his account of his search for the thylacine, Col Bailey says bounties, at the behest of farmers, were first placed on the tiger in 1835, since when numbers have declined to the point of extinction. Shadow of the Thylacine is based on four decades of research and hunting by the author, who convincingly argues there might be about 20 tigers still in existence.