Devils bound for Copenhagen
Four captive bred Tasmanian devils from Trowunna Wildlife Park were transported yesterday to Denmark to take up residence in the Copenhagen Zoo. The devils were accompanied on the flight from Australia to Denmark by Flemming Nielsen, Curator at the Copenhagen Zoo. It is hoped the two female and two male devils eventually will produce offspring.
The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, said the healthy, young animals would follow a consignment of devils sent to Copenhagen in 2006 which marked the birth of Prince Christian, the first child of Prince Frederick and Tasmanian-born Princess Mary of Denmark.
Mr Wightman said that like their predecessors, all four devils were from Androo Kelly's successful devil breeding facility, Trowunna Wildlife Park at Mole Creek.
"The devils have been specially selected by the Australasian Zoo and Aquarium Association to ensure genetic compatibility and have undergone intensive health assessments by veterinary officers," Mr Wightman said.
"They have been isolated in quarantine over the last month as part of a detailed process that involved State and Commonwealth approvals.
"The health and well-being of the devils is paramount and an agreement between the State and Commonwealth authorities, Copenhagen Zoo and Trowunna Wildlife Park focuses on all aspects of care to ensure world-class standards are maintained at all times."
Mr Wightman said the devils would be closely monitored as they adapted to their new surroundings.
"Copenhagen Zoo is world renowned and is active in safeguarding several endangered species," Mr Wightman said. "This gift recognises the global interest in the Tasmanian devil and the intensive program to protect the species against the deadly devil facial tumour disease.
"It also reaffirms the friendship between Tasmania and Denmark."
Photo: Minister Brian Wightman, Androo Kelly from Trowunna Wildlife Park holding a Tasmanian devil, and Flemming Nielsen, Curator at the Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark