Tasmanian Devils Arrive at San Diego Zoo

San Diego, California - Four Tasmanian devils arrived from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia this week and are settling into their new home at the San Diego Zoo. Named Bradley, Bixby, De-Vos (males), and Usmar (a female), they have been brought to the Zoo to increase awareness of the species and to inspire support for Tasmanian devil conservation.

The San Diego Zoo is currently the only zoo in the U.S. with Tasmanian devils, making these newest additions extremely significant. The four devils will be on exhibit in the Zoo's Australian Outback beginning on Thursday, October 24, after completing a mandatory 30-day quarantine.

Tasmanian devils are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are native to the island state of Tasmania, which is part of Australia, where they live in forest, woodland and agricultural areas. Tasmanian devils are nocturnal hunters and use their keen senses of smell and hearing to find prey or carrion. They can give off a fierce snarl and high-pitched scream, which can be heard at feeding time, to establish dominance. Tasmanian devils face extinction in the wild due to devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a rare, contagious cancer found only in devils. DFTD is transmitted from one animal to another through biting, a common behavior among devils when mating and feeding. The disease kills all infected devils within 6 to 12 months and there is no known cure or vaccine. The four Tasmanian devils at the San Diego Zoo are free of this disease.

The San Diego Zoo is a proud partner of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program based in Tasmania. The program is collaborating with research institutes and zoos around the world to save the endangered Tasmanian devil. For more information on the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, go to www.tassiedevil.com.au 

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is a government initiative established in 2003 in response to the threat of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Its mission is to combat the epidemic to ensure the survival of the Tasmanian devil and achieve the endangered species' recovery in the wild as an ecologically functioning entity.

The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

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