Marvel actor Chris Hemsworth joined conservationists at Aussie Ark for a historic moment in his homeland of Australia, where they reintroduced the Tasmanian devil to the mainland for the first time in an estimated 3,000 years.
Last month 11 Tasmanian devils were released by conservation group Aussie Ark. “This release of devils will be the first of many. We are talking about something monumental, a true landmark in history,” he said. For ten years Aussie Ark has been building up an “insurance population” of the animals, with the goal of ensuring their survival and reintroducing them into the wild.
“Because of this reintroduction and all of the hard work leading up to it, some day we will see Tasmanian devils living throughout the great eastern forests as they did 3000 years ago,” Mr Faulkner said. The release was a step to “rewild” Australia, which has the worst extinction rate in the world. Two more releases of 20 animals each are planned over the next two years.
Tasmanian devils vanished from the Australian mainland thousands of years ago, probably because of threats posed by dingoes. The species nearly disappeared from Tasmania too, after a contagious mouth cancer decimated the population. Just 25,000 devils remain in the wild in the state.