Devils have cud­dly side

The Weekend Post - - News -

They may have a fierce name but the Tas­ma­nian devil can be more akin to “a puppy on steroids” then a vi­cious preda­tor. “As a species they are lot more timid and shy than the anti-so­cial an­i­mals that will tear you limb from limb most peo­ple think they are,” Kelly Davis said.

THEY may have a fierce name but the Tas­ma­nian devil can be more akin to “a puppy on steroids” then a vi­cious preda­tor.

“As a species they are lot more timid and shy than the anti-so­cial an­i­mals that will tear you limb from limb most peo­ple think they are,” Devil Ark su­per­vi­sor Kelly Davis said.

“If you came across one in the wild they would be more likely to run away but the few we raise by hand don’t have that fear of hu­mans.”

Kelly is part of a pro­ject that could be the key to the sur­vival of one Aus­tralia’s most iconic mam­mals as a con­ta­gious fa­cial tu­mour dis- ease con­tin­ues to dev­as­tate the wild pop­u­la­tion.

Devil Ark, in the NSW Hunter Val­ley, holds a dis­ease-free colony with a pop­u­la­tion of 180-200 Tassie devils.

“The fu­ture at this time is a lit­tle bleak for the devil and we may need over 1000 devils to keep it alive,” Devil Ark pres­i­dent Tim Faulkner said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion is seek­ing do­na­tions to con­tinue its work. Visit dev­ilark.org.au.

DEVIL’S DILEMMA: Devil Ark su­per­vi­sor Kelly Davis in the Bar­ring­ton Tops snow with young Tas­ma­nian devil Tyke. Pic­ture: PETER LORIMER

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