6:07 AM PDT, August 23, 2021
This transmissible form of cancer is responsible for 80% of deaths in these animals on the Australian island of Tasmania.
When Tasmanian devils communicate with each other, it is an in-your-face, seemingly confrontational form of communication. And this could be killing them.
Zookeepers at the Prague Zoo have started a program to raise money to find a cure for what’s known as Devil Face Tumor Disease. This transmissible form of cancer is responsible for 80% of deaths in these animals on the Australian island of Tasmania.
Some local populations are said to have a 90% death rate from the disease.
The species is endangered, with an estimated 15,000 left in the wild. Once the tumors appear around the mouth, experts say it can cause death within three to six months.
Conservationists hope they can inspire the public to help save Tasmanian devils so they can go back to living in peace.