Tasmanian devils once roamed over mainland Australia. However, they have completely disappeared in the wild for over 3,000 years. This was due to the increase in the number of their enemies, dingoes, a type of native wild dog. Tasmanian devils were then confined to the island of Tasmania and only lived there ever since then.
In 2020, an ambitious plan to bring these creatures back to the wild in mainland Australia was implemented by Aussie Ark conservation group. The famous Hollywood star, Chris Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Pataky also joined the campaign and helped release them.
“There is so much at stake here. We’ve done everything we can, but if the Devils don’t breed, it’s all over,” said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark.
Twenty-six Tasmanian devils were released into the wild in late 2020, and now they had kids. They have mated and produced seven new joeys, which are promising. The youngs were all in good health and rangers will closely monitor them in the next few weeks.
This is a good sign and the number of new cubs may rise to 20 by the end of this year, and hopefully 40 in the next two years, according to Aussie Ark. The IUCN categorized this species as endangered since 2008. Their population has declined since the 1990s due to a facial tumor disease.
Being the biggest carnivorous marsupials in the world, the Tasmanian devils are the key predators in their range. After being released, they’re hoped to control the feral cats and foxes that threatening other endangered species on the Australian mainland.
With the size of a small dog, these devils may look cute but be careful, they have one of the strongest bites of all animals thanks to their powerful, muscular jaws. These little fellas are also very ferocious, too, that’s why they are called devils.