Last month, the Trove Tuesday post, “They Say” introduced the Tantanoola Tiger that was causing terror for farmers and their sheep in 1915. I have now found an article from an earlier sighting at Byaduk in 1896. You may remember the Tantanoola Tiger was first sighted in 1884 after a Bengal tiger supposedly escaped from a circus visiting Tantanoola in the South-East of South Australia and set out on a path of destruction through that district and the Western District of Victoria.
Mr Falkenberg of Byaduk was certain he was a victim of the tiger in 1896. Just as the story of the Tantanoola tiger had grown in size, so had the tiger itself. He thought the “tiger was bigger than ever”so big that it was “as big as most horses”.
While the mauling of Mr Falkenberg’s sheep was tragic, I do fear the Byaduk correspondent took the event far too seriously in his report about the “tiger-infested country”. Thank goodness for the report from the Kalgoorlie Western Argus, almost a month after Mr Falkenberg’s encounter. That was very much “tongue in cheek” with the last sentence producing a laugh out loud moment for me.
I don’t want to add to the hysteria, but I was wondering if it was something else Mr Falkenberg saw…?