Building a Tasmanian Devil Ark
Australian scientists have created their own version of Noah's Ark – but for Tasmanian devils. This project was called Devil Ark which was part of a plan to allow the endangered species on the mainland to repopulate, just in case all Tasmanian devils fell prey to facial cancer which is not only deadly, but highly contagious as well.
They were transported to Barrington Tops in New South Wales, and this insurance plan solely relies on the Tasmanian devils to enjoy their new environment. 15 Tasmanian devils were moved to the mainland with the help of their keeper, David Schaap.
Schaap said, “The agreesive ones stand out in mind more so than the others because they're the ones that keep you on your toes and help you to really earn your money day to day.” He added that they have one female Tasmanian devil called Sorsha, whose young are destined to be on board the Devil Ark. These young ones have learned aggression and can be quite a handful.
These Tasmanian devils are being flown into Sydney. Each of these animals were placed in a straw-lined box and even have a snack for their journey. Schaap placed a lump of raw meat inside all of the little devil's boxes and says that the animals may not even realise that they have left the isle of Tasmania.
Barrington Tops has similar climatic conditions as it is in the highland so weather conditions are milder. It should be “pretty comfortable and pretty similar to home,” said Schaap. In this plan to save these creatures from extinction, these devils will be on the mainland to repopulate in a disease free area without any exposure to it. There are already 30 Tasmanian Devils at the Australia Reptile Park in Gosford.
The Tasmanian Devils new digs include a free-range lifestyle where they have pens between 1 to 8 hectares in size to roam about. Each pen will have 4 to 8 animals in them, and one will have 14 young ones. This is so that they can see what happens if young ones are raised in a spacious circumstance. A stall-lock 13 type (phonetic) perimeter fence has been used as the enclosure so they are unable to escape the pen otherwise they will be faced with an additional perimeter fence.
It is hoped that the Devil Ark will work in case the grim predictions for all Tasmanian Devils on the island of Tasmania do die out. It is thought that there should hopefully be 1000 Tassie Devils to repopulate Tasmania in 10 years time.