CANBERRA, March 2 (Reuters) - A German tourist who claims to have photographed a Tasmanian tiger, solving one of Australia's enduring wildlife myths, said on Friday he had returned to the country to video the animal and end doubts over his find.
The Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, was a striped, wolf-like native mammal which was hunted to extinction by European settlers. The last one died in a zoo in 1936.
But stories of surviving animals persist and yearly unconfirmed sightings have turned the tiger, whose scientific name means pouched dog with a wolf's head, into a holy grail for mystery hunters from across the globe.
In February 2005, German tourists Klaus Emmerichs and Birgit Jansen said they had captured two digital photos of the animal in Tasmania's rugged forests while on holiday.
"I came from high, and he can't see me. He had his nose down and was snuffing," Emmerichs said on Friday.
"I want to prove that it is not extinct, like the people think and the world thinks," Emmerichs told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
The couple, he said, had no idea the tiger drinking at a creek was extinct and the animal just loped away.
Experts initially believed the night photos showed portions of a Thylacine obscured by foliage, but later examinations led to accusations of a set-up, ending a bid to sell the pictures for A$25,000 ($19,600).
Emmerichs said he had returned to Tasmania, joining up with long-time tiger believer Paul Bailey, to capture the elusive animal on video. Bailey said he saw a tiger in 1967.
"I'm convinced that they are still here," Bailey said.