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BTN- Tasmanian devils

May25

This weeks video was on Tasmanian Devils and a cure so they aren’t extinct.

To see the Tasmanian devil video Click here

KEY:

Blue = Facts

Red = Understandings

Green =  Questions

Black  = More Information

 

There is a disease going around and it is affecting most Tasmanian devils. Zoos and scientists have been working hard and finally figuring out how Tasmanian devils won’t die out.

It is a slow process although they are getting some great results. Keep reading to see how they do it.

Most people think that Tasmanian devils are “devils” because of their face image. Zoo keepers strongly disagree. They have a soft spot for them like they are their own pets, they play with them and do everything for them. Not only because it is their job but because they could be endangered and never spotted again. In other words extinct.

Tasmanian Devils population decreased by more than 80%. Tasmanian devils have died out across mainland Australia about 400 years ago.

They have the name Tasmania devils, because for 400 years Tasmanian devils are only found in Tasmania and continue to be only found in Tasmania. They are an iconic Tasmanian animal. That a lot of people enjoys going to look at in the zoo.

Tasmania devils started being hunted when European settlers came because Tasmanian devils were eating people’s chickens.

Now Tasmanian devils are protected by law. Although now there is a different threat that started in the middle of the nineteen hundreds.  It is called the devil face tumor disease. It is a type of cancer that is contagious. Scientists are still working hard to find the cause of this disease that affects thousands of Tasmanian devils.   

The way the Tasmanian devils gets the disease is by biting each other. It is a contagious disease and when one Tasmanian devil has it, it spreads fairly quickly because the Tasmanian devils are always touching each other and play fighting and when they do that the disease spreads. It is really hard to control this disease and a big job for Zoo keepers.

The animal is affected by a tumor around its mouth and face until it can’t eat anymore, then unfortunately dies from starvation. It is a tragic disease because once they get the disease they only have 6 months before they die.

Most scientists in Tasmania really hope “the disease will die out before the devil does”

How does the zoo keeper and Tasmanian devil have such a good bond?

Their biggest solution is a breeding program.  Zoos are breeding Tasmanian devil babies called joeys. When they are born they are as big as a grain of rice. The mother gives birth to 30 joeys although there are 4 teats so only 4 make it out to survive.

Zoo keepers and scientists would hate for these creatures to be extinct. They are really trying their hardest because it could be their last hope. They have started the “devil breeding program” and they have already raised 50 devils. The scientists and zoo keepers do everything the can including sneaking around to the Tasmanian devils cage at night to see how they’re going.

I understand the idea of the devil breeding program. More devils means more of a chance of   Tasmanian Devils not being extinct. It is a great Idea because it is not right for Tasmania devils to be extinct. It is a great plan B because plan A would be a cure for the disease.

Their aim is to breed as many devils and make a whole new population in case every last one in the wild dies out. It is not easy breeding with animals because devils that are born in captivity don’t get pregnant as easily as in the wild.

How long has the “devil breeding program” been going on for?

It is an important cause and doing one thing could save the Tasmanian devil population…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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