Devils off to San Diego

FOUR Tasmanian devils will head to San Diego Zoo in the US in late October, the first of 20 bound for overseas zoos and parks in the next six months.

Environment Minister Brian Wightman announced the pilot program in June, and yesterday revealed the first of the zoos to receive the devils.

Four will be sent to Albuquerque Biopark in New Mexico, and four each to New Zealand's Wellington Zoo, Orana Park in Christchurch, and Auckland Zoo.


The international program will raise awareness of the devils' plight, and contribute to the $5 million annual cost of maintaining the insurance populations.

The chosen devils must be genetically over-represented in their population or at the end of their breeding life.

Wellington Zoo life science manager, Elise Kovac, was in Launceston this week attending a prerequisite Tasmanian devil husbandry program, before receiving the devils later this year.

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