Watching Devils At Tasmania Zoo

About a 25 minute scenic drive out of Launceston in Tasmania you will find Tasmania Zoo. The day I visited, it was a very cold winter’s morning, and most of the animals seemed to be hidden away sleeping and waiting out the cold. But there was plenty of action and entertainment from the six Tasmanian devils at the zoo.

For those who aren’t aware, Tasmanian devils are a native Australian animal and are endemic to Tasmania. They are critically endangered because of the terrible and fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease. For more details about this amazing species and its struggle to survive click here to read one of my earlier posts.

First up, here are some photos of the devils enjoying some winter warmth in the sunshine.

At one point two devils had something to say to each other.

Having a scratch

What a cutie!
What a face!
I smell food!
Where’s the food already!

One of the animal keepers turned up with a big bucket of pieces of wallaby for the devils to eat. Watching tassie devils eat is quite an experience. It’s noisy and looks violent at times, but they all work together tugging at the food to help break it up making it easier to eat. And they eat everything – fur and bones included!

I love the keeper’s tassie devil hat!

The hopping or jumping thing the devils do in this video is something I’ve never seen before, it was so funny. And that little opportunistic devil at the end of the video was quite devillish! 😀

It wasn’t too long before all the food had been eaten. One of the devils came up to the keeper for cuddles and we were able to have a quick pat of the devil while she was occupied playfully chewing on the keeper’s hand. Then she was put on the ground but she wanted some more attention!

Tasmanian devils are such fascinating creatures, I could watch them all day!

If you love devils as much as I do, why not consider joining the Tasmanian Devil Network? I’m the administrator of the group on Facebook and would love to have you on board. Click here to join or click here to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tasmanian Devil Network

Do you love Tasmanian devils? Well then, have you heard about the Tasmanian Devil Network?

The Tasmanian Devil Network is a community group I created at the beginning of 2016 on Facebook.

It’s a group for anyone who has an interest in the endangered Tasmanian devils.

Members of the group can share their photos, videos, and encounters with Tassie devils, either in the wild or in wildlife sanctuaries. Members can share websites, non profit organisations and charities relating to Tasmanian devils, as well as any fundraising activities by those organisations or individuals who aim to raise money to help save the Tasmanian devils from extinction. Members can also share anything of interest related to Tassie devils, for example, news items, books, artwork, collector pieces etc. Or perhaps you’d like a question answered about the furry little devils.

The Tasmanian Devil Network is a closed group which means only members can view the content. We’re a happy little group and love to see lots of photos of devils and keep up to date with the latest research on finding a cure for DFTD as well as raise awareness of fundraising events across the country. Our members are very friendly and genuinely interested in what everyone has to share. Our membership includes people like myself who can’t get enough of Tassie devils as well as people from several wildlife sanctuaries around Australia, and from organisations such as Devils In Danger and Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

Interested? Then click here to visit the Facebook group page and request to join and myself or one of the other moderators will happily welcome you into our group.

Looking forward to seeing you there soon! 🙂

Devils In Action

I’ve got a few videos of Tasmanian Devils in action that I’d like to share. These videos are of devils that are in wildlife sanctuaries.

This is a short video of a close up of a Tasmanian Devil at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a male devil called Storm and he’s quite old, more than 10 years old. You can see him sniffing the air as he’s relaxing. I wonder he’s thinking while we humans look on ….

This video is of Tassie Devils Storm and Luna at The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at feeding time. You can watch the devils getting fed there almost everyday. Watch Luna biting off bits of meat and bone to eat until Storm turns up to take it off her and then you can hear the loud sniffing sounds they make as they discuss who’s going to eat what.

This last video is of some devils at The Australian Reptile Park (apologies for the loud microphone of the keeper in the next pen). Even though they make a lot of noise, these young devils are only playing. Can you imagine what it would be like if they really meant business!!??

 

 

 

 

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil

Because I reside in Queensland in Australia, there are no Tasmanian Devils that I would ever see in my backyard at home since they can only be found in Tasmania, but I do consider Australia itself as my big backyard, and so I thought I would include a post about these fascinating animals. These devils are also on the brink of extinction, so I thought it might help to give these animals some exposure and show you some photos and videos I have taken of them at wildlife parks. I have only ever seen a wild Tassie devil back in 2003 while holidaying in Tasmania, but that’s another story for another time.

So what is a Tasmanian Devil? First of all, it is the world’s largest living carnivorous marsupial (thanks to the extinction of Australia’s Tasmanian Tiger in 1936). A marsupial is a mammal that gives birth to a very small live baby and then carries it in a pouch until it is old enough to get around on its own. Australia has lots of marsupials like kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, bandicoots, numbats, bilbies, quokkas, and quolls, just to name a few.

When looking at a Tasmanian Devil, you can see that it is mainly black in colour with a few white markings, has a large broad head and a thick tail. It is believed that around 16% of devils are completely black with no markings. The devil is also short and stocky with males weighing up to 12kg and females weighing up to 8kg. They stand at around 30cm high at shoulder height.

So why are they called a Tasmanian Devil? European settlers named it this because of a night they would hear strange and frightening screams and growls coming from the forest near their homes. When they went out to investigate with their lanterns, they saw a black dog-like creature with a wide jaw and huge teeth with red ears which they thought looked like a hell hound. And believe me, the noise the devils make when they fight is very loud and sounds like screaming, so they are appropriately named!

Here’s a video I took recently of a Tasmanian Devil sunbaking in the late afternoon sun at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tasmanian Devils are a very important animal for the environment. They are scavengers that eat dead animals (like roadkill) and don’t often hunt for food. They eat all of the carcass, including fur and bones. They will eat almost anything they find that is dead, like echidnas, wallabies, birds, fish, snakes, and apparently they are partial to wombats.

Trivia Bit – Uninterrupted, a Tasmanian Devil can eat up to 40% of its body weight in 30 minutes and this would keep it going for about 2 days.

Watch this video I took recently of Tasmanian Devils Storm and Luna at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sadly, this fascinating animal is facing extinction because of a terrible cancerous tumour disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease. It is an awful illness which affects the devil’s face which gradually makes eating very difficult and so the animal slowly starves to death. No one knows how it came about or what caused it but it seemed to make an appearance in the late 1990s and has since decimated the devil population. There is no cure and the disease is always fatal. The following pictures are from the website of Devil Ark and show just how terrible the disease is.

If you would like to know more about the devils and this horrible disease and if you would like to donate to help save the species please visit the website for the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.  This is an Australian Government response to the situation concerning the devils’ plight and the funds raised go towards research for finding a cure and vaccine as well as breeding an insurance population of healthy disease free devils so we don’t lose them forever.

I wonder what he's thinking .......
I wonder what he’s thinking …….