Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

This Tasmanian Devil looks deceptively cute.

Those teeth are sharp!

Shirley feeding a wallaby

The frogmouth was not hungry.

Normally, we prefer to see wildlife in the wild. But it is difficult if not impossible to see Tasmanian Devils in the wild. First, they are an endangered species. Second, they are nocturnal. Third, they are black. So this morning we went to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, where they are breeding disease-free devils in natural surroundings. Tasmanian Devils have been attacked by Facial Tumor Disease, a fatal cancer that affects only the devils, is transmitted by bites, and is fatal within 5 months. The disease first appeared about 12 years ago, and now affects most devils in Tasmania except those in captivity or on the Tasman Peninsula, where they can be isolated from the rest of the population.

In addition to seeing the devils, we got to feed kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons (in order of descending size), as well as seeing quolls, parrots, and a frogmouth (a type of large insect-eating bird). The frogmouth is very well-camoflaged and hard to see, but I got to hold one (sitting on a branch).

This one has a bum wing, so can’t fly.

All in all, a very interesting morning, even in a light drizzle. Lunch was at an internet café, where we each had a chicken and brie pie (very tasty!).

Then we headed north, stopping in Sorell to find out why my phone was not working—needed to be rebooted! Tonight we are in the Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park, in a nice caravan (trailer). We ordered box lunches to take with us tomorrow on the ferry to Maria (Mar-EYE-a) Island, where no food is available, but there is an old prison, and lots of trails and wildlife. We are hoping for good weather, but we shall take what we get.

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