Five new Tasmanian devils have made their home at Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch welcomed five new Tasmanian devils.

Pendlebury, Chester Campbell, Steele, Fox and John arrived last week as part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador (STDP) scheme.

The arrival of the young males doubles the park’s devil population to nine and means Christchurch is now home to one of the largest devil farms outside Australia.

“Chester Campbell is the most feisty of the newcomers and Fox isn’t far behind in that regard,” said Rachael Mason, Orana’s exotics manager. “Steele and Pendlebury are pretty sweet and John is the shortest and is quite calm and quiet but has nice long whiskers.

“It is an absolute privilege for Orana to be involved in the Ambassador Program and to raise awareness of the plight of these magnificent marsupials.”

[email protected] Managing Director Wade Anthony accompanied the animals to Christchurch from Tasmania.

“Pendlebury and Steele are brothers and Fox is their half-brother and all were born in our sanctuary in 2019. Chester Campbell and John are not related,” he said.

He said they have all traveled well and will settle happily as the climate is similar to that of Tasmania.

Tasmanian devils are the largest surviving carnivorous marsupials in the world. Nocturnal animals live about 5-7 years in captivity.

Devils are listed as endangered, primarily due to a rare contagious cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease. The deadly disease has led to a population decline of more than 60% in wild devils and up to 90% in some areas of Tasmania.

Orana Park said the primary goal of the PDTS is to ensure the survival of the species.

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