7:05 AM PDT, May 30, 2021
It’s been 3,000 long years, but seven Tasmanian Devils have been born on the Australian mainland. No, not the Looney Tunes kind. The real Tasmanian Devils are marsupial carnivores, about the size of a small dog. They were wiped out on mainland Australia due to being hunted by other animals and disease.
Devils have since only been found in Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia, and have been on the United Nations’ “Red List” of endangered animals since 2008. A conservation group called Aussie Ark released 26 Tasmanian Devils into the wilds of Australia in late 2020.
Now, there are Devil babies — called joeys — to celebrate.
Tim Faulkner from Aussie Ark explained, saying, “We’ve been able to historically, albeit in its infancy, return the Devil to mainland. And today is another milestone entirely.”
He added, “There is so much at stake here. We’ve done everything we can, but if the Devils don’t breed, it’s all over.”
Just like kangaroos, Devil joeys develop and grow in their mother’s pouches. Rangers said the Tasmanian Devil moms and their babies are “in perfect health.”