19 August 2011
With spring just around the corner, Australia Zoo is celebrating the arrival of five Tasmanian Devil joeys, whose arrival marks the most successful Tasmanian Devil breeding season ever at Australia Zoo. Wooo-hoo!
The five-month-olds, who have been named by Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, are out of their mothers' pouches and have joined our growing devil family. The three boys have been named Des, Troy and Brian, with the two girls named Ebony and Raine.
"As they're marsupials, the joeys have spent the past five months in their mothers' pouches," said Tammy Forge, Head of Native Mammals.
Wild Tasmanian Devils suffer from what is known as the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an infectious cancer that can now be found across 70% of Tasmania, killing Tasmanian devils in the wild at an alarming rate. DFTD is unique, being only one of three cancers that can spread like a contagious disease.
"Every joey is hugely important to keep the Tasmanian Devil insurance population on the increase, as well as to introduce new genetics into the pool. With predictions the species will be extinct within 10 to 15 years due to DFTD, the birth of each new devil is a positive for the species." explained Tammy.
It is hoped the cute new arrivals will help to change public perception about the species. "There is a big misconception that Tasmanian Devils are aggressive, but in fact they are quite shy and timid," Tammy said.
Australia Zoo runs Tasmanian Devil animal encounters to educate the public about the species, and to raise funds for research programs to help keep them around for future generations.
How YOU can help save the Tasmanian Devil species:
- Sonsor our Tasmanian Devil conservation project
- Adopt one of our gorgeous Tassie Devils!
- Find out more about our Tassie Devil Conservation Project
- Get up close and personal to our soft-coated Darling Devils
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