Nine little devils have joined the wild family at Monarto Safari Park after another successful breeding season for the endangered Tasmanian Devil.
After recent pouch checks, females Violet, Wanda and Polly have been found to be carrying quite a few joeys – two, four and three, respectively.
Monarto Safari Park natives keeper Simon Dower says this is a fantastic outcome.
“Breeding season is always a very exciting time for us at the park,” says Simon.
“Tasmanian Devils are an incredibly complex and fascinating species so to be part of ensuring the future of their survival is a real privilege for the team.”
The nine joeys were all born within a month of each other and, at this stage, are hairless and kept safe and warm in their mum’s pouch, attached to her teats and receiving plenty of nutritious milk.
Apart from an initial check to see how many youngsters were born, keepers are very hands-off with the devils, simply making sure the mums have plenty of food, comfortable bedding and quiet time to raise their babies.
“Sadly, wild Tasmanian Devil numbers have plummeted over the past two decades due to the aggressive Devil Facial Tumour Disease which has devastated wild populations,” says Simon.
“We work with a number of partner organisations across Australasia in a collaborative captive breeding and release program to safeguard this species into the future.”
A number of the devils that were bred at Monarto Safari Park in recent years have joined disease-free populations of the species in the wild on Maria Island as part of the region’s critical recovery program.
The addition of nine more devils is a vital contribution to this program.
Three-year-old Violet is an experienced mum, after having a litter of four joeys last year. She was paired with four-year-old male Naz.
Wanda, however, is a first-time-mum who was born at the park in 2019. Her joeys are sired by two-year-old male Maddigan.
Polly, who is two years old and arrived to Monarto Safari Park in January this year, was paired with male Moama, who is also two years old.
Another female, one-year-old Jessie, was paired with male Naz and keepers will check to see if she has given birth to any young in late May.
Two joeys or more from Jessie will see 2021 become Monarto Safari Park’s most successful season ever!
The three new mums live in the privacy of our off-limits breeding area but visitors wanting to learn more about Tasmanian Devils can get a glimpse of four males in their exhibit near the Waterhole and Giraffe platforms.
Visitors are encouraged to book their tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment during busy periods at the park.