Conservation organisation Aussie Ark, alongside the Australian Reptile Park have been very busy with their newest bundles of joy, welcoming Itchy and Scratchy the adorable Tasmanian devil joeys! The tiny devils are already showing cheeky personality traits, which made naming them incredibly easy as they’re named after feisty cartoon characters from The Simpsons.
Itchy and Scratchy are twin Tasmanian Devil joeys born at Aussie Ark as part of the organisation’s insurance population for the endangered Tasmanian devil. The joeys are calling the Australian Reptile Park home for now and are being hand raised by Keeper Hewin Hochkins.
“I can’t remember the last time I had a proper night’s sleep, but every minute I get to spend with these two is worth it!” said mammals Keeper Hewin Hochkins. “They’re already showing off their cheeky little personalities, I just knew the names Itchy and Scratchy were perfect for them.”
Hand-raising Tasmanian devils is no easy task. They require round the clock care, warm snuggles and bottle feeds around four to five times a day, including a feed at 4:00am. The duo will be hand raised by Keeper Hewin for the next eight months until they are independent enough to re-join their family at Aussie Ark. For now, they are residing at the Australian Reptile Park, where they will become ambassadors for their species – an important role for the youngsters.
“Tasmanian devils are one of the most iconic native species Australia has, and looking at Itchy and Scratchy you can see why they are so loved!” Aussie Ark President and Australian Reptile Park Director Tim Faulkner said.
Mr Faulkner continued, “90% of the wild Tasmanian devil population has disappeared due to devil facial tumour disease. The Aussie Ark breeding program is creating a long-term future for this species, Itchy and Scratchy are now a big part of that!”
In eight month’s time, they will make their return to Aussie Ark and be released into a wild protected sanctuary – the largest of its kind for Tasmanian devils. Aussie Ark’s population of Tasmanian devils are free from the devastating devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) that plagues wild populations.
Aussie Ark relies solely on the community to continue its work and ensure a future for threatened native species. Symbolic Tasmanian devil adoptions are available from Aussie Ark’s website. Every adoption helps secure a future for this iconic Aussie species!
To find out more go to aussieark.org.au
About Aussie Ark
As a not for profit organisation, Aussie Ark raises the necessary funds to continue its ambitious vision. Investment allows for the construction of captive facilities and predator proof fencing on semi-wild parcels of land. Aussie Ark is a registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission. Aussie Ark has deductible gift recipient status (DGR status) and is registered for GST purposes. More information at www.aussieark.org.au
Video and image credit: Aussie Ark