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Joey success at the Sanctuary

28 July 2017

At Healesville Sanctuary we are excited to announce that we have had a rip-roaring Tasmanian Devil Breeding Season, with a total of 13 devils born this year. This means we have bred a total of 133 Tasmanian Devils at Healesville Sanctuary since joining the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program in 2009.

First time mum, Waratah, who was born at the Sanctuary in 2015 has had her first litter and is busy keeping her three little joeys tucked safely away in her pouch. Waratah and her joeys live in a large off-display exhibits at the Sanctuary, where our keepers take a very hands-off approach. We do this to allow the devils to establish more ‘wild-type’ behaviours which will be crucial to their success in the wild if they are chosen for a future release. 

These little guys will stay with mum until they are about nine months old when they will begin to explore for themselves. They will meet other devils during this time and learn important socialisation behaviours which will prepare them for their breeding years.

Waratah’s joeys – and those born in the wild - are an important contribution to the Save the Tasmanian Devil insurance population. The Tasmanian Devil faces extinction due to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Healesville Sanctuary holds one of the largest mainland captive populations of disease-free devils and works with the Save the Tasmanian Devil breeding program as part of Zoo’s Victoria fight to save the Tasmanian Devil from extinction.