I bet that when asked to describe a Tasmanian devil, the majority of the world population would describe a large toothed, spinning creature shaped like a triangle. And before you say that’s blasphemy, “I know what a Tasmanian devil looks like,” I need to stop you. Looney tunes was not that far off. These little creatures do have a triangular shape skull, they make fast circular tracks in their area. Furthermore, they have big big teeth.
Paige and I were afraid that we were hyping up our Tasmanian devil visit in Bonorong Wildfire park too much and perhaps it wasn’t worth the trek. We both worried that the devils would disappoint not only us, both everyone back home. But no! Those little devils were even more amusing than we could have imagined!
The Bonorong wildlife park is about 25 km away from where we live and we had to figure out public transportation there. We knew it would be an adventure and it sure was. What should have taken about 20 min took about 1 hr and 20 min and a 20 minute walk. We snaked around the eastern part of the Derwent river neighborhoods picking up Boguns along the way. (Boguns are Australian punks or hoodlums, if you will.) But the journey into the countryside is worth it for the wide open spaces and beautiful hilly vistas.
Once we arrived, the first little buddy we see is a wombat. This little guy was so cute and adorable I wanted to squeeze him. We learned that they have a thick layer of cartilage in their butt so when a predator wants to attack he turns around and the predator can’t get through the hard bottom. Quite a useful strategy, don’t you think?
In addition to the wombat, we met wallabies, koalas and quolls. But the park is truly devoted to the Tasmanian devils because they are in danger of extinction. So many of the devils have a deadly cancer that the state has started to catch all the healthy devils in order to breed them. The cancer spreads via saliva and because these carnivorous creatures share their prey, the disease is spreading at a rapid rate. The Tassie devils are more than just intriguing. They are necessary to the natural Tasmanian ecosystem.
More stories of our visit coming soon…. (when we get internet sorted out at our new apartment)