The debate surrounding the possible existence of the cunning and elusive Tasmanian fox (Vulpes vuples) has once again reared its head after a fox was reportedly spotted near the state's capital, Hobart, this week.
Farmer Bob Judd saw what he believes was a fox on his property this week.
"I grew up on a farm in South Australia and I know exactly what a fox looks like," he said. "There was this red apparition running like lightning, grease lightning, up the hill and it was a fox - it had a red bushy tail and all the rest of it."Officers from the Fox Eradication Program have taken detection dogs down to the property to locate the animal. The Manager of the Fox Eradication Program Alan Johnston, says more than 2,000 fox sightings have been reported since 2002.
Foxes were introduced to Australia in the 1850s by English settlers, but Tasmania remained fox-free until the 1990s when evidence of their presence began turning up.
The fox has inflicted enormous impacts on the native wildlife of Australia, being implicated in the extinction of many native animals.
Tasmanians can report fox sightings and any other evidence (unusual scats, den sites, stock kills) to the FOX HOTLINE 1300 FOX OUT (1300 369 688).