What Is A Tasmanian Devil? Chris Hemsworth Returns Animal To Mainland Australia

Katie Ramirez
October 8, 2020

Conservationists hope releasing the carnivores on the mainland will help create a population free of the disease and also restore the environment [William West/AFP Photo]"We've put young, healthy devils in".

"Seeing those devils released into a wild landscape - it's a really emotional moment", said Liz Gabriel, director of the conservation group Aussie Ark, which led the release effort in partnership with other organizations.

In this photo provided by WildArk, actors Chris Hemsworth, left, and Elsa Pataky help release Tasmanian Devils into the wild at Barrington Tops, New South Wales state, Australia, Sept. 10, 2020.

The precise cause of their disappearance from mainland Australia is unknown, but, according to National Geographic, human hunting may have eliminated numerous species that the devils relied on for food. Their numbers drastically reduced further due to a contagious and fatal form of cancer known as the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which killed around 90% of the population.

The 11 most recently released demons begin exploring new homes after being released from round white cages at the almost 1,000-acre Barrington Tops Wildlife Sanctuary in New South Wales, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) north of Sydney.

Nick Mooney, an Australia conservationist who has worked with Tasmanian devils for 40 years, said feral felines are likely to return to hunting for a food source rather than relying on carrion in competition with the devils. This nocturnal marsupial with dark or black fur, which gives off a strong odor when nervous, has been the victim since 1996 of a disease, the transmissible facial tumor of the Tasmanian devil (DFTD), which ends in death in nearly 100% of cases.

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The Guardian also suggests that changing climate and the introduction of the dingo may have also played roles in the devil's extinction in Australia. The releases in July and September are the first time that the squat mammals have been released on the mainland in a protected wild landscape. Ecologically, there is hope that a revived population of Tasmanian devils could help restore balance to the Australian ecosystem, which has been ravaged by introduced species, like feral cats and foxes, endangering native wildlife, especially birds, reports Brian Kahn for Gizmodo.

Some experts question whether the introduction would have that hoped-for level of impact.

"So there's more than the devil at stake here". "We are talking about something monumental, a true landmark in history", he said.

"When you do big interventions like this, there needs to be buy-in from the community, particularly those who are affected in the community", said Ms Jones. The others - Eastern quolls, Brush-tail rock wallabies, Rufous bettong, long-nosed potoroo, parma wallabies and southern brown bandicoots - are expected to be released into the wild sanctuary in future. "I need a consultation".

"We dream of more sanctuaries with demons and to protect those species, we increase the number of species and the animals in our surroundings, too", she said. And that's just the beginning.

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