Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil

Sarcophilus harrisii

IUCN status
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Tasmanian devil

« They will make a meal out of whatever comes within reach of their powerful jaws. »

An explosive marsupial

Not as fierce as it looks!

The Tasmanian devil, an animal that is endemic to the island of Tasmania in southern Oceania, is currently the largest carnivorous marsupial in Australia, though it grows no larger than a dog. Despite its appearance, its diet, and its name, the Tasmanian devil is shy and cautious, only attacking humans if it feels threatened. Its tempestuous reputation, which is only half-deserved, has not stopped the species from becoming one of the symbols of Australia, being depicted on coins, and serving as the mascot of many sports teams.

Tasmanian devil

Did you know?

Looking back on the arrival of the Tasmanian devils

Relive the arrival of Cape and Cluan at the ZooParc de Beauval, thanks to the “un Œil en Coulisse” team’s camera. Follow the Tasmanian devils, along with their keepers, as they spend their first days discovering their space.

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Tasmanian devil

Cape, real little devil

Cape, the Tasmanian devil arrived at the ZooParc in 2019, when he was only two years old.

In 2023, 3 other Tasmanian devils joined him: Jonesie, Devon and Kris.

Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian devil
Beauval Nature

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Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    21 days, 4 months in the pouch
  • Litter size
    2 to 4 young
  • Habitat
    Pastures, Forests

Decimated by disease

Unfortunately, since around the 1990s, the species has been the victim of an epidemic causing facial cancers (called Devil Facial Tumour Disease or DFTD) and the population of devils has fallen sharply. To stop the disease, the Australian authorities set up a programme for the conservation of the species in partnership with Copenhagen Zoo, aimed at the reproduction and reintegration of healthy specimens into the Tasmanian ecosystem.

Tasmanian devil gestation

Tasmanian devils will take up residence inside burrows that have been abandoned by their prey, reproducing, and seeking shelter within. After a gestation period of 21 days, the female devil gives birth to around twenty new-borns, which are then hidden in her ventral pouch. The fierce level of competition within the maternal pouch means that only about 1/5 of the litter survives, emerging into the open-air after 5 months. These little Tasmanian terrors will then be ready to take on the world a month later.

An opportunistic predator

Tasmanian devils live scattered throughout the whole island but prefer sparsely wooded areas or agricultural regions. Here, it is easier for them to find small prey or a few animal carcasses on which to greedily feast. These nocturnal hunters have a reputation for being particularly voracious. They will make a meal out of whatever comes within reach of their powerful jaws: wallabies, wombats, and even sheep and other farm animals. Most of the time, however, they are satisfied with carrion and only hunt when food is scarce.

Where can I see them in the park?

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Other species in the territory

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