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Tasmanian Devils Now on Exhibit at the Toledo Zoo

Posted Oct 30th, 2015 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest, General Interests, Toledo.com

 

The time has finally arrived! The Toledo Zoo is thrilled to announce that three new Tasmanian devils, Nugget, Tatiana and Orchid, are now on exhibit in Tembo Trail.

Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrissi) are the largest living carnivorous marsupial and found in the wild only on the island of Tasmania. They are black all over with white marks on their chest and sometimes on their rumps. Their foreboding expression, black color and terrible scream helped earn the “devil” nickname.

The acquisition of Tasmanian devils from the Monarto Zoo in Australia is part of the Zoo’s partnership with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. In recent years, Tasmanian devils have seen a rapid decline (up to 90% mortality) in wild populations due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). Toledo Zoo is directly supporting Save the Tasmanian Devil Program staff’s study and monitoring of the wild devil population. The program also includes creation of an insurance population and development of a vaccine for the disease. To help support research and conservation efforts in Tasmania, the Toledo Zoo is selling devil-related merchandise and has added Tasmanian devils to the Conservation Today fund and Zoo PALsponsorship program.

The devils arrived at the Zoo last week after an approximately 30 hour flight from Australia with stops in Los Angeles and Detroit. Upon arrival, the devils were immediately introduced to their new home to start getting acclimated. Their exhibit in Tembo Trail was designed to mimic Tasmania’s forest habitat where devils are commonly found. The devils will be receiving enrichment and food multiple times a day to promote interaction within the group and visibility for guests.

As Dr. Randi Meyerson, Toledo Zoo’s assistant director of animal programs, related: “Our devils are adjusting well to their new home. The move was a big change for them with crossing multiple time zones and getting used to a new diet. Their actual keeper from Australia accompanied the devils to help get them settled and help train our staff. She said this was a great group of animals for us to have and that they will be very popular. We hope that visitors will enjoy seeing the devils up close and learning about the tremendous international conservation effort to save these iconic creatures.”

Jeff Sailer, Toledo Zoo executive director adds “We couldn’t be more excited to have Tasmanian devils on exhibit. They are revered in Tasmania and Australia, much like the bald eagle is here. We are very proud to be a part of the global conservation efforts surrounding such a unique species.”

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Andi Norman - The Toledo Zoo

andi.norman@toledozoo.org | 419-385-5721 ext. 2098 No Comments »

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