29 February 2012
Did you know that Australia's gorgeous Tasmanian devils are a critically endangered species and predictions are that they will be extinct within 10 to 15 years? This is all because of a nasty disease known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
DFTD is a debilitating cancerous sarcoma threatening wild populations, and is highly contagious among devils; tumours appear on the Tasmanian devil's face and neck and the devil dies of starvation within three to six months of infection.
Australia Zoo is doing everything in our power to reverse the possibility of losing this species to disease. Australia Zoo's Tasmanian devils, Narahi and Presely will be two devils participating in our breeding program this year to hopefully continue growing the insurance population of Tasmanian devils.
Introduction of Presely to Narahi will take place over the coming days and our keepers are hopeful that Presely, already a father of four can continue doing his bit for the conservation of a species.
So what exactly takes place during breeding season?
Once two devils have been introduced and their personalities are a match, they remain together for five to ten days. After this time together, it takes 21 days until we know if breeding has been successful or not. After 21 days, if breeding was successful, a Tasmanian devil is born; However; a Tasmanian devil joey will remain in its mothers pouch for four months; so it is safe to say the waiting game is on at Australia Zoo.
People can help save the species by donating towards Tasmanian devil conservation at http://www.australiazoo.com.au/conservation/projects/tasmanian-devils/
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