Sydney, Australia, Oct 5 (efe-epa).- An environmental group has released more than 25 Tasmanian devils in mainland Australia through a project that seeks to reintroduce this animal in an area it inhabited 3,000 years ago.
The NGO Aussie Ark aims to save this emblematic animal, which currently lives on the Australian island of Tasmania and whose population has been decimated by a facial tumor, and to restore the ecosystem threatened by invasive species.
“The release of the demons is the first of many. We are talking about something monumental, a true landmark in history: the return of the demons to the mainland,” said conservationist Tim Faulkner, general manager of Aussie Ark in a video released Monday online.
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the character of Thor in the Marvel film series, and his wife, Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, helped free 11 specimens in mid-September at the Barrington Tops sanctuary, about 300 kilometers to the north of Sydney, adding to 15 specimens returned earlier.
The project, in which the organizations Global Wildlife Conservation and Wild Ark are also participating, also aims to restore the Australian ecosystem altered after the arrival of British settlers at the end of the 18th century and free it from introduced wild predators such as dingoes, cats or foxes. .
The NGO researchers, who have already bred 400 specimens of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) in captivity, will monitor the movements of these marsupials in order to follow the progress they make in adapting to their new wildlife.
Tasmanian devils disappeared from mainland Australia 3,000 years ago, mostly as they fell prey to dingoes – an invasive species descended from the Asian wolf.
These small black marsupials with large fangs suffer from a contagious cancer, which is spread by direct transmission through bites inflicted on the face by animals during feeding and mating processes.
This tumor appears in the mouth of the animal and increases in size until it causes deformations that prevent it from eating. EFE-EPA