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The real Tasmanian Devil isn’t a wild tornado, as Warner Bros. would have you believe. But, they do actually sound like him.
These small, meat-eating marsupials got their name from the wild noises that they make. This led European settlers to believe that there were devils in the forests around them. We got to experience these noises at Liffey Falls Campground and I can definitely see how they got that impression.
Tasmanian Devils in the Wild:
I’ll start off with a sad tale, Tasmanian Devils are going extinct in the wild. Sure, the usual culprit, humans, are at least partly to blame. But, one of the bigger causes of this extinction is a face-eating tumour. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease is not transferrable to humans; however, it can be transferred between devils by touch or sharing food.
Tasmanian Devils are real life zombies…
Anyway, luckily, Tasmanian Devil populations are being preserved in wildlife parks and conservation efforts. We visited Devils @ Cradle, where they explained that once the majority of the infected population has died off, the wildlife populations will be released into the wild.
As such, the wildlife parks put forth large efforts to ensure that everything is handled the same as it would be in the wild. They feed them on similar food schedules and similar volumes. Everything is trying to be preserved so that the population can be reintroduced without the tumours.
These efforts are quite interesting and I’m not selling them as good as the wildlife parks will.
All that being said, we did have a Tasmanian Devil wander into our campsite at Liffey Falls one night. And, we spoke with other campers who had been staying at Cockle Creek that also reported having a devil wander through. So, you can still see them in the wild but you’ll have to get pretty lucky!
Devils in Wildlife Parks:
Devils @ Cradle:
We went to Devils @ Cradle for a nighttime feeding. Fun fact: Tasmanian Devils have the strongest bite of any other creature. They will chew through bones. Audibly. If you go to the nighttime feeding you can watch them annihilate an entire carcass. It’s creepy but it’s also super neat. I recommend a nighttime feeding if you are able to because Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal. This means you’ll get to see more activity from the devils if you go at night.
The main reason we chose Devils @ Cradle was convenience. We had a campsite at ** next to Cradle Mountain and happened to see that there were still tickets for the nighttime feeding. Since we typically avoid driving at night, we figured this was our best opportunity as our campsite was right next door. Bonus, they also feed the quolls.
Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
The Unzoo doesn’t utilize cages like a traditional zoo. The Unzoo offers Devil Tracker tours, which take you in a 4×4, on an adventure to learn about Tasmanian devils.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Set near Hobart, this sanctuary has been breeding devils for 20 years. Bonorong offers nighttime feeding tours as well. So, if you happen to be staying in Hobart this Sanctuary would be a great place for you to learn about Tasmanian Devils.
Trowunna Wildlife Park
Found in Mole Creek, Trowunna Wildlife Park, offers tours (They appear to be daytime feedings) and a chance to see Tasmanian Devils.
East Coast Natureworld
Bicheno’s East Coast Natureworld hosts daytime feedings of Tasmanian Devils as well.
If you’re going to do a tour, I would definitely recommend a nighttime one. Since Tasmanian Devils are more active, you will get to hear the infamous noises that they were named after! And trust me, they are wild. However, if you are planning on doing a nighttime feeding, please be careful when you’re driving home. Australian wildlife is more active at night.
If you aren’t interested in the nighttime feedings, I would definitely pop into one of these places on the list. The Tasmanian Devil is very cute! See them while you can.
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