For the first time in 3 thousand years, rare marsupials – Tasmanian devils – were released into the wild in mainland Australia. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and his wife took part in this historic event.
The vanishing Tasmanian devils are back on the Australian mainland for the first time in 3,000 years. It’s all thanks to Aussie Ark, which has been running a breeding program for these rare animals for 16 years. They recently released 26 animals into the Barrington Tope Reserve. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, best known for his role as Thor in The Avengers, was entrusted to take part in this important event.
The actor and his wife Elsa Pataki released 11 animals into the reserve. TV channel Seven News reported that this is an event of global proportions.
The head of Aussie Ark, Tim Faulkner, considers the arrival of Tasmanian devils in mainland Australia’s wildlife to be a step toward ecological restoration.
Aussie Ark President Tim Faulkner said in a statement: “In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country. Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia’s beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other invasive predators.”
Tasmanian devils are considered an endangered species. In the 1990s there were about 150,000 of them, but a mysterious infection nearly wiped out their population in the state of Tasmania. There are now fewer than 25,000 in the wild.