Colorized Footage of the Last Known Tasmanian Tiger

A remarkable restoration of 88-year-old archive footage gives a colorized glimpse of the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity.

Tasmanian tigers were last spotted in the 1930s, and no color film of them exists. The only video we have—roughly 100 seconds total—shows specimens in captivity, all in black-and-white. Furthermore, there is no known film of them in the field, nor are any recordings of their vocalizations available. Tasmanian tigers, commonly known as thylacines, are appropriately enigmatic.

The job was challenging since the high-definition resolution meant there was a lot to colorize, such as thick patches of fur and straggly pieces of hair. Furthermore, François-Steininger had to get the hue, as well as the tints and tones, precisely perfect. To that aim, he referred to museum-preserved thylacine skins, drawings and paintings, and textual descriptions. He spent around 200 hours on the project, and the end result is pretty good.