|Glenn with devil joey|
We were greeted upon arrival at Devil's Ark by American-born keeper Abe Tompkins, who emerged with two cute devil joeys before taking us on a tour of the enclosures during feeding time. The devils have voracious appetites, munching their way through 75 kg of kangaroo daily. The kangaroo carcasses are kept in a large freezer; their supply is paid for by the NSW Shooters Association. The devils are fed six days a week. When Abe appears in an enclosure, the scent of the meat is quickly picked up and a flurry of devils is soon snarling and growling and snapping at each other as they tear the kangaroo portion apart.
|Abe with friend|
However, the situation remains precarious. The tumour continues to spread to far-flung parts of Tasmania which have to date been spared. Numbers of devils are so low that the risk of extinction remains. The decimation of devils has upset Tasmania's ecological balance, changing the behaviour and increasing populations of feral cats and possums. A major impediment to foxes gaining a foothold in Tasmania has been removed; the introduction of foxes would have devastating consequences for the island's wildlife. The battle for the Tasmanian Devil is far from over.