More Deviltry

In the wild, Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal, but they don't mind a little rest and relaxation in the sun.

In the wild, Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal hunters and scavengers. However, they don't mind a little rest and relaxation in the sun, especially after an exhausting tussle over some wallaby chops.

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. 

I'm petting the nice Tasmanian Devil. "Nice devil, nice devil....."

I'm petting the nice Tasmanian Devil. "Nice devil, nice devil....." Though they have a reputation for fighting, they aren't aggressive toward humans if handled correctly.

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.

A devil gets peeved when a young man's hand got too close to the devil's head.  We both had to count our fingers after that close encounter.  The keeper has raised this devil from joeyhood, and he's used to people, but a devil is a devil, after all!

A devil gets peeved when a young man's hand got too close to the devil's head. We both had to count our fingers after that close encounter. The keeper raised this devil from joeyhood, so the devil is used to people, but a devil is a devil, after all!

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 often eat roadkill, such as wallabies, but can also become roadkill themselves.  They travel widely in search of food.

Tasmanian Devils often eat roadkill, such as wallabies, but can also become roadkill themselves. They travel widely in search of food.

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.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Animals, Australia, Biology, Conservation, Environment, Humor, Life, Natural History, Nature, Personal, Photography, Random, Science, Travel

4 responses to “More Deviltry

  1. I was recently in Australia and got to visit some Devils myself. I really fell in love with them, just as you did. We happened to be at one zoo, on their founder’s day, and they had arranged a nice meet and hold event for us with the Devils. It would be such a shame for these unusual creatures to vanish. They are so unique and have great character. I enjoyed looking at your blogs. Thank you for about writing them. A.T.

    I’m glad you love the devils, too. Until a year ago, I didn’t know much about these animals and their dire situation, so I am happy to write about them now to get the word out so that others can appreciate these wonderful animals. Cathy

  2. Pingback: I’m a Friend of the Tasmanian Devil « Catherine Sherman

  3. Cathy – so many wonderful posts to catch up on! I’ll take my time looking at them slowly and enjoying everything you show us. First up – want one of these Devils please, oh and throw in a wombat, a koala and anything else.

    Thanks, Paula. I know you’ve had so much happen in your life lately.

    Devils are so cute, though they have bad table manners. Unfortunately for wombats, those dear creatures are on the Devil’s menu. I’m still trying to digest the trip myself, going through the photographs and learning more about what we saw and where we visited. I’m catching up with everyone’s blogs now. I missed yours and glad to be reading it regularly again. http://www.locksparkfarm.wordpress.com Cathy

  4. Great videos! Hope we get a glimpse of that deviltry while we’re there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s