In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Tasmania was gripped by tiger fever. Backed by a government bounty of £1 (roughly £750 today) the records show that 2,184 bounties were claimed between 1888 and 1909 on thylacine kills. The killing didn't stop at adult tigers and the government even paid a bounty of ten shillings on pups - the official figures are likely to be an underestimate of the massive count which wiped out the breed. Aristocratic graziers and farm settlers blamed the tiger for sheep kills but it is unlikely the tigers were able to tackle animals of this size. Subsequent studies have shown that, despite the large 120 degree gape of the tiger bite, the animal's jaws were very weak and far more suited to hunting smaller prey.