A wriggling pouchful of Tassie Devil joeys have had their first visit with the veterinary team at Monarto Safari Park.
Earlier today, four little ones were weighed, sexed, microchipped and given a physical and dental examination by veterinary nurses Di and Morgan before being given a clean bill of health.
Born in March this year to mum Thumbelina, the lightest joey in her litter weighed in at 367g (about the same weight as a can of soup) and the heaviest at 402g. Vet nurses confirmed that the 4-month-old youngsters are growing well and look really healthy.
Monarto Safari Park keeper Simon Dower says the team are happy with their development.
“Even though these joeys look small now, they’re actually not much bigger than a grain of rice when they’re born and stay inside mum’s pouch until they’re around four months old.”
“It’s around this age, 4 months, that we’ll start to see them venture out of the den and sometimes ride around on their mum’s back which is lovely to see. The health checks also give the team a chance to confirm the sex of the joeys.
“We’re delighted to announce that Thumbelina’s litter is made up of two boys and two girls, all of whom will provide valuable genetics for our regional breeding program working to save the species,” finished Simon.
In recent years, wild Tasmanian Devil populations have been decimated by the devastating Devil facial Tumour Disease, an illness which sees individuals develop aggressive and contagious tumours on their faces, particularly around their mouths, which can lead to death by starvation, infection or organ failure.
Zoos SA works with many partner organisations across Australia, including The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program to assist with the captive breeding and release recovery program.
This partnership has already seen some of Monarto Safari Park’s joeys released into the wild, disease-free populations on Maria Island, just east of Tasmania.
The four joeys are also joined by seven other youngsters from mums Violet and Xena. Health checks for their litters will be conducted over the next week.
The winning names in Monarto Safari Park’s Tasmanian Devil naming competition will be announced shortly. Participants were asked to choose names for the little ones beginning with X,Y and Z.
Visitors to Monarto Safari Park can see other Tasmanian Devil adults near the Waterhole viewing platform and our herd of giraffes.
To ensure visitor numbers are kept within our COVID Management Plan, visitors are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets through our website before arriving at the park.