In a big win for Australia wildlife conservation—and a celebratory moment for Chris Hemsworth, new wildlife grandfather—endangered Tasmanian devils have been born in a wildlife sanctuary in Barrington Tops National Park.
In 2020, the Thor actor and his wife, Elsa Pataky, released 11 endangered Tasmanian devils into a 1,000 acre wildlife sanctuary in Australia. This week, one of those rescued devils, named Adventurous Lisa, had three joeys.
This is a huge deal considering that before 2020, the Tasmanian devil population had vanished entirely from mainland Australia and the last time one of the infamous marsupials had set foot on mainland Australia was over 3,000 years ago.
Hemsworth partnered with Aussie Ark, Re:wild, WildArk, and the Australian Reptile Park to reintroduce the marsupials to the wild three years ago. The 11 critters he helped release have been monitored regularly since, and there have also been a reintroduction of 21 additional adults and births of 16 joeys.
During a routine health exam of Adventurous Lisa, Aussie Ark discovered marsupial was pregnant—proof that their breeding and rewilding efforts were working.
"This is a great example of how returning a species to its wild home can rewild the entire ecosystem," Janice Chanson, a Re:wild senior associate of species conservation, shared in a statement.
Lisa's joeys are out in the world and in excellent health, People reports. What's more, Aussie Ark expects 45 more devil joeys to be born in the wild sanctuary this year.
Tasmania devils could help control Australia's feral cat and fox populations, which threaten other endangered and endemic species.
This momentous birth is a great win and beacon of hope for wildlife conservationists hoping to help restore endangered species populations.
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