My friends and I fell in love with Tasmanian Devils, irascible carnivorous marsupials that live in the wild only on the island of Tasmania, an Australian state south of the mainland of Australia.
In the wild, Tasmanian Devils usually are only active at night, when they hunt or seek out carrion. They can be very nasty-tempered and make a huge noisy fuss when they eat. You can see why I find them so adorable! They have their own personalities and are inquisitive. (Their main inquiry probably is “When is feeding time?”) Their keepers and the scientists who study them become very fond of the little devils.
If you want to see Tasmanian Devils, you’ll need to visit a wildlife park or zoo in Australia. There, the devils are happy to greet you during the day. At some parks, you can even pet a devil. Just be careful that you don’t reach too close to its head. We saw devils and many other unique-to-Australia animals at East Coast Natureworld near Bicheno and Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park near Taranna, both in Tasmania.
The only other place outside of Australia where devils can be seen is the Copenhagen Zoo, where they were a gift to Denmark, because Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, is from Tasmania.
Many Australian zoos and parks, particularly in Tasmania, are breeding the devils in special quarantined areas so they won’t contract Devil Facial Tumor Disease, an infectious cancer that affects many wild devils. So far, the disease is incurable. Scientists estimate that half or more of the devil population has disappeared in the past dozen years because of the disease.
Tasmanian Devils play an important role in the Tasmanian environment, plus they are so cute. You can read more about devils in my previous post, I’m a Friend of the Tasmanian Devil. That post includes a Discovery Channel video and links to more information. Below are some videos from our visit to a wildlife park to see the devils.