Los Angeles Zoo Announces a Rare Pair of Tasmanian Devils on Display; One of Only Four in US
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 – 5:28 PM
(CNS) – A pair of Tasmanian devils are on display at the Los Angeles Zoo, making the zoo one of just four in the United States to have real-life versions of the carnivorous marsupials made famous by the “Looney Tunes” cartoons, officials announced today.
The brothers are 3 years old and came from Trowunna Wildlife Park, a private wildlife sanctuary in Tasmania, Australia. They arrived at the Los Angeles Zoo last week.
“The arrival of the Tasmanian devils has been a long time coming, and we’re pleased we can help educate the public on the plight of this endangered species,” according to Jeff Holland, curator of mammals at the Los Angeles Zoo.
While prominent in popular culture, Tasmanian devils have seen a 60 percent decline in their population and are considered endangered. Their numbers were largely affected by an outbreak of an infectious cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease, but they are also frequently run over by cars, killed by dogs or hunted by foxes, treated poorly by humans, fall victim to disease and suffer from low genetic diversity.
Tasmanian devils have stocky builds and large heads, and can grow to between 20 and 31 inches and between 9 to 26 pounds. Their fur is mostly brown and black, with white stripes on their chest, side and rear end.
They live to between five and eight years, whether in captivity or in the wild, and their diet consists of the carcasses of snakes, birds, fish, insects and other small or medium-sized prey.