One thing we were determined to do on our recent jaunt down to Tasmania was get up close with some of the unique Tasmanian devils, the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world.
We figured the best way to do this would be to attend a tour where we could witness the feeding habits of these carnivores so the two of us started researching weeks before our adventure began.
Devils@Cradle, a Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary located at Cradle Mountain, was identified as the best place to do this and we were more than happy to hand over our $27.50 for an After Dark Feeding Tour that supports their comprehensive conservation program.
After watching a short introductory film about the Tasmanian Devils our guide Chris then talked about DFTD (Devil Facial Tumor Disease), the devastating disease rapidly spreading through the Tasmanian Devil population, and how it has wiped out 50% of devils over the past 10 years.
Unfortunately there is no known diagnostic test, treatment or cure for DFTD and Devils@Cradle is a response to that problem. It breaks our heart to know that these little creatures are now a vulnerable species after being so abundant not that long ago.
After learning all about DFTD, Chris then introduced an adorable 11-month old Tasmanian Devil into the room for everyone to have a quick pat. The fur on a Tasmanian Devil is incredibly soft and this part of the tour made everyone smile.
Once this was done, it was time to head outside for what we were here to see – the feeding of some hungry Tasmanian Devils!
And boy were they hungry…
Chris stepped into the largest enclosure at the sanctuary with a couple of two-year old males as they viciously attacked what appeared to be a kangaroo leg.
It was a spectacular sight to see these two devils devour their nightly meal and it wasn’t long before they had finished.
We’re pleased with how these photos turned out but they can’t really show you exactly what we witnessed so we’ve included the video below of our experience.
As you can see, the Tasmanian Devils are very aggressive when it comes to food. Surprisingly, they were very calm the rest of the time we were at Devils@Cradle.
We also got to see Chris feed the other threatened carnivorous marsupials in the sanctuary, the Spotted-tail Quoll and the Eastern Quoll.
The entire tour lasted for 90 minutes and it was a privilege to see these animals up close and to be able to watch them feed.
We just hope Tasmanian Devils are still around for hundreds of years to come!