Taronga’s new Tasmanian Devil joey got its first health check this week.
The Zoo’s veterinarian , Tim Portas, gave the joey a clean bill of health as keepers completed their first hands-on check of the youngster.
The check also confirmed the joey is a male. It was the first born at Taronga this year and had been snuggled close to its mother, Keggie, since its birth in early May.
With Tasmanian Devils under threat from extinction due to a contagious cancer that causes fatal facial tumours, the healthy joey is encouraging both for the species and for the network of 36 mainland and international zoos and wildlife parks managing the insurance population of disease-free devils under the Tasmanian Government’s recovery plan.
Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos are both part of the breeding program.
This joey's birth brings the total of Tasmanian Devils born at Taronga Zoo to 20, since the breeding program began in 2007. Taronga Western Plains Zoo has bred 18.
Tasmanian Devil Keeper, Tony Britt-Lewis, said the birth of the healthy joey was particularly pleasing as Keggie and father, Nugget, were new to the zoo and this is the first time they had bred.
“Keggie is proving to be a terrific first time mum. We’ve been observing very positive nurturing behaviours and are delighted with the progress and growth of the joey.”
"We expect the joey will stay with its mother until December or January, before it is weaned and becomes independent."