The Devils’ Taste of Home

Devil Ark, the Tasmanian devil breeding facility in the Barrington Tops, sits at 1,400 metres, so the landscape at Devil Ark perfectly mimics the Tassie Devils’ native Tasmania, ensuring the devils feel right at home through all seasons, even when it snows in winter!

This July was no exception to the rule when the Hunter experienced the coldest July in decades and deep, thick snow fell, closing roads in the upper reaches of the Barrington Tops, leaving the resident 150 or so devils in complete isolation to revel in the snowy countryside.

Founder John Weigel, owner of the Australian Reptile Park, built Devil Ark along with founding partners in 2010 to house large numbers of Tassie devils living in natural conditions.

It is a known fact that the species is under threat of extinction from Devil facial tumour disease, (DFTD) an insidious, contagious cancer transmitted by biting. Unfortunately for the devils, they bite frequently when feeding, socialising and mating, so the disease has spread quickly, reducing numbers by a massive 90% in some parts of Tasmania…

Story: Marilyn Collins.  Images: Dean Reid.