If anyone was to give out gongs for the world’s coolest animal, I reckon the Tasmanian Devil would be near the top of the list. Not only does it have a Looney Tunes character named after it, if you see one in real life they’re like little, furry rocket ships, charging about with an anarchic gleam in their eyes.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that a facial cancer is rapidly accelerating the Tassie Devil towards extinction in the wild, and some estimates give the species only another 5 years. Since Devil Facial Tumour Disease was discovered in 1996, the population has dropped from 140,000 to around 80,000 and it’s estimated the existing population decreases by 50% each year.
Up to now funding research and running captive breeding programmes has been the domain of private organisations, and through the Devils in Danger Foundation you can Adopt a Devil for $50.
Now the new Australian government has pledged $10 Million to fund research into the disease that’s threatening to wipe out one of the world’s most iconic animals.