25 Aug 2014 09:06:38
Devil’s Den Gets a New Resident – Topsy the Tasmanian Devil!
This week our resident Tasmanian devil Oreo was introduced to her new companion, Topsy!
As an older female, Oreo came to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo to enjoy her golden years after being involved in the Tasmanian devil breeding program, and keepers thought young Topsy would make a great friend for Oreo.
Topsy was born at Australian Reptile Park last year and hand-raised by keepers once she had been weaned. As Tasmanian devil young spend their first five months living in their mother's pouch, Topsy's exact birthday is unknown! She is a very interactive and inquisitive little devil, and despite their ferocious reputation the keepers are exceptionally pleased with how well she and Oreo are getting along.
The Tasmanian devil is endangered and the species' biggest threat is Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). Since the first cases were spotted in the mid-1990s, the wild devil population has been decimated by this fatal cancer, which is spread through biting and scratching. Up to 90% of the population in certain areas has been wiped out by DFTD and the Tasmanian devil is facing the very real threat of extinction in the wild.