Three Little Devils Are Hopeful Sign!
November 05, 2012
The Alma Park Zoo's baby Tasmanian Devils (Imps) are starting to make themselves known as they begin to venture out of the den with their mom, Lilith. All three are girls and what is even more remarkable is the fact they are all completely black. Devils usually have a white band across their chest or white across their rump, but not these girls. To have one completely black would be rare, to have three is quite exceptional.
These little imps are also significant as they are the great grand devils (children) of individuals with Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) - but are of course disease free themselves. This means that they are unrelated to all other devils on the mainland and so play a vital role in the genetic diversity of the captive devil population.
The iconic Tasmanian Devil is at serious risk of extinction from the highly contagious Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) and wild populations are disappearing fast.
In a bid to prevent extinction, Devils must be captive bred in facilities well away from the disease – these include mainland Australian zoos, and the unique Devil Ark, which consists of large free ranging natural enclosures.