Winston, Cria and Lucas on tour: Three Tasmanian devils have been flown to Sydney from different parts of Australia to support a breeding program for the endangered animals. Winston, who started in Hobart in Tasmania and landed safely on the east coast after a 13-hour flight with the national airline Qantas, made the longest journey, as the animal welfare organization Aussie Ark announced on Wednesday. From there, the predators traveled to Barrington Tops National Park, 270 kilometers north of Sydney, in a special air-conditioned vehicle.

Until 2020, the aggressive “Tasmanian Devils”, weighing up to eight kilograms, only existed on the island of Tasmania, to which they also owe their name. There, however, their existence was threatened because of a type of cancer.

Young again for the first time after 3000 years

Aussie Ark has its own Tasmanian devil breeding program. In 2020, the organization, along with other conservation groups, released 28 of the black animals, who showed no signs of disease, at a reserve north of Sydney. Around 3000 years after the Tasmanian devils went extinct on the mainland, young were born there again in freedom for the first time.

“It was so exciting to welcome these Tasmanian devils,” said Aussie Ark staffer Kelly Davis. “They may not have flown first class, but they were treated like real VIPs at every turn.” After a health check, the three adult males had to be quarantined for two weeks. Then they should be brought together with the females – and hopefully contribute to the survival of their species. “They bring new genetics, new bloodlines to our population. Thank you Winston, Cria and Lucas for the long journey!”

The animals have been under protection since 1941. Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have an extremely strong bite. Characteristic are the red ears, a wild screeching and a foul smell that the animals emit when excited.

Aussie Ark to Tasmanian Devils Communication Aussie Ark