Tasmanian Devils Head to Albuquerque
This winter, Albuquerque will be home to four Tasmanian devils. The ABQ BioPark Zoo will be one of only two facilities in the United States to exhibit the endangered marsupials.
“We are excited to introduce Albuquerque and the rest of the United States to Tasmanian devils,” said Rick Janser, BioPark Director.
“We started working with Androo Kelly, Director of Trowunna Wildlife Park, over ten years ago to learn about Tasmanian devils and how we could be part of saving these ferocious and fascinating little animals.”
The ABQ BioPark staff have been preparing for the possible arrival of Tasmanian devils since 2002. Members of BioPark staff have participated in training courses and exchanges with professionals in Australia. In March, Zoo Manager Lynn Tupa spent a week in the first part of a training course on devils; she returns to Tasmania this fall for another week of training. Director Janser is the species coordinator and studbook keeper for the Tasmanian Devil Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). He also serves on the steering committee for AZA’s Marsupial and Monotreme Taxon Advisory Group.
Tasmania’s Environment Minister Brian Wightman announced today that the devils would be heading abroad as part of the country’s international program to raise awareness and conservation funding for Tasmanian Devils. In addition to the four Tasmanian devils coming to Albuquerque, four devils will go to San Diego Zoo and another four will go to Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.