For the first time in over 20 years, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is proudly welcoming three Tasmanian devils into its care.
The babies, Sprout, Thyme, and Mustard, remain in quarantine per standard protocol, but are transitioning to their brand-new habitat located in the Zoo’s Australia and the Islands region. As soon as the Tasmanian devils settle in to their new home, a public viewing schedule will be announced.
The Columbus Zoo is now one of only seven zoos in North America to currently house the species.
One-year-old Tasmanian devils were brought to the Columbus Zoo through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. This Tasmanian, Australia government program aims to combat the threat of Tasmanian devil extinction due to a fatal, highly-contagious condition called Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
The conservation of these animals is so important because they play a vital role in the ecosystems in which they inhabit. For example, Tasmanian devils remove sick, slow, diseased, and deceased animals from the landscape. They also serve as an important line of defense against invasive species, including feral cats.
Obtaining the three devils is only one pillar in the Columbus Zoo’s long history of supporting the species’ conservation. In the past the Zoo has employed the following projects to help sustain the lifecycles of Tasmanian devils:
- aiming to develop effective strategies to rebuild wild populations of the Tasmanian devil through the understanding of demographic and genetic effects of the long term presence of DFTD in wild populations
- assess the ecological impacts of a reduced devil population on other wildlife in the north-east coastal plains area
- satellite tracking translocated Tasmanian devils; and the genetic analysis of Tasmanian devils (to look for signs of DFTD) from the south-west coast.
“The Tasmanian devils are an exciting addition to our Columbus Zoo family and play an incredibly important role as ambassadors for their species,” said Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf. “It is a privilege to be able to work with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and continue to expand our impact internationally by contributing to the conservation of this species while also raising awareness within our own community about these animals and how we can help them.”