Known for their feisty demeanor, Tasmanian Devil babies show quite another side. These cheeky little devils are joeys from Australia's Devil Ark, the largest conservation breeding program for the Tasmanian Devil on mainland Australia. The iconic Tasmanian marsupial is at serious risk of extinction from the highly contagious Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). Devil Ark's ambitious breeding program might be the key to its survival. It's believed that in the next 20 years the Tasmanian Devil could be extinct on Tasmania due to DFTD's rampant effects. Since its discovery in 1996, numbers of wild devils have plummeted across Tasmania, and in some areas, more than 85% of the wild population is now extinct.
So it is a battle against time! Now genetic diversity is also rapidly diminishing in Tasmania, so at Devil Ark, they are racing to breed large numbers of devils to preserve the species. There are currently more than 120 devils at the Ark and the goal is to have 360 individuals there by 2016.
Tasmanian Devils are known for their fierce demeanor, but watch these babies nursing and playing and you'll see a different side!
Read much more about Devil Ark and the important work they are doing below the fold: