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! 🙂

Review: The Lost Cave of Corinna by Greta Kerschbaum – An Adventure Fantasy Tale Helping to Save the Devils

I first read this amazing novel late last year and absolutely enjoyed it, and I recently re-read it and loved it just as much, so I thought I would share my review here with you. Below is an extract of my  review that I published on Amazon.

A percentage of the profits from this book is being donated by the author to the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

Synopsis

Twelve year old Tom is spending his summer holiday in what he thinks is a boring seaside town. But an accident leads to his transformation and a journey of survival in the dangerous and sometimes magical world of the Tasmanian bush. If Tom wants to return home, he must follow the call that will lead him to the mythical Lost Cave. But Tom is now on the menu for anything with fangs and claws, and that’s how he meets Dibley, a hungry Tasmanian Devil. Will Dibley overcome his natural instinct to eat Tom and join him on his journey to find the Lost Cave?

My Review

Tom travels to Tasmania for a holiday with his aunt and uncle. When Tom goes fishing with his uncle, he is told an old tale about the mad gene in his family, and how a great uncle claimed to be able to talk to animals. Tom then starts to hear a haunting call that draws him in, and after he has a serious accident, he finds he can talk to the animals himself because he has been transformed (how and into what I will not say!). Tom then meets the all-knowing and cryptic Nini who explains to him he needs to find the Lost Cave where he will find the creature that is calling to him and who might be able to help him go back to the way he was. And so Tom begins his long and dangerous journey through the Australian bush. Along the way, Tom meets a number of native animals, including a grumpy old Tasmanian devil called Dibley, who is suffering from the very real fatal cancerous disease. Tom’s experiences with each one of these animals on his journey to the Lost Cave clearly shows the damaging effect humans have on them and their environment. Tom also meets some not so native animals and his frightening encounters with them also shows what effect these animals have on Australia’s habitat and wildlife.

The Lost Cave Of Corinna is beautifully written and Ms Kerschbaum’s writing is descriptive and polished. The storyline is very intriguing and the different plot twists along the way keep you interested all the way through. The story is very captivating and I was so engrossed in this book that I was very reluctant to put it down.

I loved the descriptions of the surrounding bush landscape in the story. Ms Kerschbaum writes about the sights, sounds and smells of the bush, and it brought back many memories for me about my times in Tasmania. I also loved the portrayals of the different animals in the story. Ms Kerschbaum has described each animal’s personality even better than I imagined them to be, and their behaviour is epitomised beautifully. Every animal was aptly depicted not just in what they looked like, but how they behaved, how they smelled, what they felt like. After reading this book, you will find yourself looking at these animals with a new perspective. Admittedly, I do have a soft spot for the character of Dibley, the Tasmanian devil, but I also loved the other animals Tom met, including one very entertaining wombat.

As well as being a children’s fantasy adventure story, The Lost Cave Of Corinna addresses a number of underlying issues that are important for everyone to know about, no matter where you live. The story is a perfect way for kids to understand these issues and they are dealt with in a subtle manner so that they are important angles of the development of the story. Beneath the storyline, you will discover issues such as how feral animals and domestic animals have an effect on Australia’s wildlife; how the use of chemical poison affects the habitat and the animals that reside there; what happens to the animals and the environment when land is developed for human use; and how far reaching the effects of pollution can be. You will also find within this book elements of trust, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, survival, justice, sacrifice, loss, healing, and having to face your fears. But most of all, we learn from this book that change is possible and there is always hope.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you anxious, it will keep you in suspense, it will keep you enthralled with its magic and mystery. The Lost Cave Of Corinna will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. It will definitely appeal to everyone – young and old. It even includes a few beautiful black and white illustrations of native animals. If you relish reading stories that are full of adventure, fantasy, mystery, myth and magic, you will enjoy this book. If you love animals and the environment, you will revel in this book. If you savour all things Tasmanian (or even Australian), you will love this book.

So get yourself a copy of The Lost Cave of Corinna and join Tom on his fascinating journey to the Lost Cave and see the world in a new light.

 

Buy this book on Amazon.com – paperback version only for $7.99AUD. The book is also available at many bookstores in Hobart and from some online stores.

A percentage of the profits from this book is being donated by the author to the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

 

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 …….