Can I have Mr Passenger Pigeon please?
Sorry, no can doo,
nor his kids or missus too.
You would like a Great Auk now?
Never, ever, ask for this.
And a flightless, big-beaked Dodo?
Like the Great Auk,
only more so.
What about a Thylacine,
marsupial with tiger stripes?
Not a hope, just not our type.
Try a quick shout for a Quagga.
You’ll be lucky,
though your bid is very plucky.
Finally a Steller’s Sea Cow,
surely someone has one here?
No cards at all, how very queer.
Mummy, Daddy, it’s not fair,
I’ve still no families in my hand,
are they all gone from the land?
David C Chinn
(Tasmanian Tiger) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial to live in modern times. These wolf-like creatures carried their young in a pouch like kangaroos, sported tiger-like stripes on their back and had jaws capable of an impressive 120 degree gape. Hunted to extinction by European settlers in Tasmania, their state-sponsored culling resulted in the last wild Thylacine being shot in 1930. Their entirely preventable demise was complete on the 7 September, 1936, when the last survivor died in Hobart Zoo.
The Thylacine Speaks
Ghost-quiet in a grainy image loop,
you see me caged and pacing to and fro,
the last one now, full eighty years ago.
From carnivore to YouTube, how I stoop.
Hunted by man, extinct by bounty shoot,
the settlers’ flocks in time allowed to grow,
their ignorance of nature now on show,
in Tasman’s land their killing finds a route.
A female foetus sleeps in liquid still,
her DNA extracted could suffice,
to conjure clone-like life by human skill,
but only lonely death awaits her twice.
To dream in alcohol, it is my will,
no habitat exists, heed my advice.
David C Chinn