When I told people I was going to Tasmania often the first thing they'd say is "oh! the Tasmanian Devil!" Taz, the Warner Brother's cartoon character, while based on the real thing, lacks some of the charm of the actual Tasmanian Devils. They're small marsupials with pointy little teeth and a howling cry that no doubt inspired a fear of the devil in the first settlers on Tasmania. These little devils are carnivorous, but don't worry, they only eat things that are already dead. They're less of a threat to us than we are to them.
But the biggest threat to the Devil these days is a virulent form of cancer that's wiped out half the population in just eight years. This cancer is spread during play and mating and is always fatal.
Tasmanians have mounted an effort to save the Devil at www.tassiedevil.com.au. The prints we sell at our reception Sunday from 5-7p at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart will benefit the Save the Devil program.
I took these pictures at Devils@Cradle. That's Chris, non-chalantly holding a 10-month-old devil. We were warned to keep our fingers away, but they do appear pretty cuddly.
This little guy isn't mad, he's just yawning. They do that when they get nervous. Believe it or not, the Devils (even these human raised fellas) are pretty shy.
More pictures from our travels around Tazzie are up at the gallery at www.xyzadventures.com/galleries, and, of course, I've posted a ton more shots on my SmugMug page. We're off to see the rain forest, then tonight it's caves.