Tasmanian devil

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Tasmanian devil is a flesh eating animal found in Tasmania. It is a marsupial  a mammal whose young develop in a pouch like that of the kangaroo. The Tasmanian devil looks and sounds terrifying and its bite is even worse. However the Tasmanian devil population is being devastated by a contagious cancer.

About 500 years ago Tasmanian devils became extinct in Australia and took up residence 125 miles away in Tasmania. Inhabiting only the island of  Tasmania and a few zoos  they live in relative isolation feasting on the dead flesh of kangaroos and other native animals. They are not very aggressive.download (1)

Although they’re the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials adult males measure barely a foot tall and weigh up to 12 kgs. Its fur is blakish brown to black with irregularly shaped white blotches in relation to their small body size. Tasmanian devils jaws are more powerful than tigers able to chew through entire bodies including bones.

But it wasn’t those champion chops that earned Tasmanian devils their villainous name. the story goes that European settlers who came to Tasmania in the 19th century were terrified by the nocturnal marsupial’s piercing screams and thus christened them as devils. Indeed Tasmanian devils are chatly creatures with 11 distinct forms of vocalizations used to locate each other, defend themselves and communicate that they’re peeved. Tasmanian devils are known for their belligerent nature. When irritated their ears turn purple and they release a loud shriek as a warning sign to back off. Their devil eat devil lifestyle begins at birth. Female Tasmanian devils produce litters of about 50 tiny babies. But there are just four nipples inside of her pouch which means that only the strongest survive. After weaning the babies for a few months the young devils must set out on their own or risk being gulped by their mother. From there they lead mostly solitary lives except during mating season. Tasmanian devils fight each other readily inflicting wounds  and sometimes death.images (1)

Recent news reports from Tasmania suggest tht the fatal DFTD has infiltrated the western half of the state and in particular the north-west which was the Tasmanian devils’ lst stronghold. The areas were believed to be free of the devastating disease tht is propelling the Tasmanian devil towards extinction and 90 percent of the wild population has been destroyed.

Devil Ark is a project in Australia which is  breeding an insurance population of devils to prevent the extinction of this iconic animal. With over 150 Tasmanian Devils at the Devil Ark its operations manager Tim Faulkner believes that this long term project will see disease free Tasmanian devils reintroduced into Tasmania.

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