The Tasmanian Devil is without a doubt Tasmania’s most well known critter. Seeing (and photographing) them in the wild is a tough ask as not only are they nocturnal, but their numbers have been massively diminished in the wild due to a terrible cancer-like disease known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) which is fatal to all devils that catch it.
The role of wildlife parks in preseving healthy devil populations is now vital. One such park is Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, around 30 minutes drive from Hobart, where these photos were taken.
A few facts about the Tasmanian Devil
* The devil got its name not only from the wild sounds they make when fighting over food, but also from the fiery red glow of the devils ears when the sun is in the right spot – very devilish! (see below)
* The devils are very poor hunters, but have an exceptional sense of smell which allows them to search out sick or dead animals in the bush
* Devils can give birth to up to 40 young, but in general only 2-4 will survive. When born a baby devil is about the size of a grain of rice!
About the Devil Facial Tumor Disease
The Devil Facial Tumor Disease is sadly contagious and lethal to any devil that catches it. Wild devil numbers have plummeted in the wild and the devil is now listed as threatened with extinction. The cause of the disease is unknown and a lot of urgent research is being carried out to learn ways to counter it. For the time being preventing healthy devils from contracting the disease is the only solution, hence the vital role of wildlife parks.
To find out more, or to donate money, please visit the Save the Tasmanian Devil website.