Tales from the cryptozoologists

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1995:

Freelance writer Peter Zahler and math teacher Chantal Dietemann, of
Watertown, New York, recently rediscovered the woolly flying squirrel in the Sai Valley of
northern Pakistan. Presumed extinct, the two-foot-long squirrel, with a two-foot tail, was last
seen in 1924. Although Zhaler and Dietemann actually recovered partial specimens of the
squirrel from around the nests of eagle owls last summer, they delayed the announcement until
March, to obtain scientific confirmation of their findings.
Australian zoology student Elizabeth Sinclair recently captured a pair of Gilbert’s
rabbit kangaroos in a live trap set for short-tailed kangaroos, according to the March edition of
Geo magazine. Considered extinct for more than a century, Gilbert’s rabbit kangaroos were last
seen alive in 1869. A radio transmitter was strapped to the male, who was then released. The
female, who had young in her pouch, remains in captivity.

The last known Tasmanian tiger, a.k.a. the thylacine wolf, died at the Hobart Zoo
in 1936, but a team appointed by Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife director Max
Laughlin is combing the hills of the northeastern part of the island in hopes of finding another,
after a veteran forest ranger claimed a sighting in January. Unconfirmed sightings, mostly at
dusk, have been reported occasionally for decades. “I would love it to be true,” said Laughlin,
“but chances are we won’t find anything. Even if we found a pair, the numbers would be so
slim that it’s unlikely the species could survive for long.”
Ornithologist David Oren of the Emilio Goeldi Natural History Museum in
Belem, Brazil, thinks he may have found footprints, claw marks, hair and feces from living
examples of the giant ground sloth, supposedly extinct for 8,500 years. DNA tests are under-
way at U.S. and German laboratories on the hair and feces to see if he’s right. If so, the six-
foot-tall, 600-pound sloth would be the biggest land animal in South America, and the biggest
newly reported anywhere since the discovery of the gorilla nearly a century ago. Oren spent
much of 1994 searching for the sloth in the Amazon rainforest, after collecting stories about a
huge sloth-like creature from natives for a decade.
Villagers recently captured a specimen of the third newly identified hooved
mammal to be found in central Vietnam in under a year––a young horned bovid, about the size
of a small goat. Early last year, fresh remains were found of a new kind of deer, the giant
muntjac, while two examples of another bovid, called the sao loa, were captured but soon
died, possibly from stress. The latest find lives in Thua Thien-Hue province, about 186 miles
southeast of the Vu Quang Natural Reserve, where the others were found.
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