Two Tasmanian devils from Australia are settling into their new home at the San Diego Zoo's Australian Outback. Male Tasmanian devil McLovin and female Quirindi arrived in San Diego from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in late 2017. The devils are part of a program between the two zoos designed to increase awareness of the species and to elicit support for Tasmanian devil conservation.
Tasmanian devils are native to the island state of Tasmania. As nighttime hunters, they use their keen senses of smell and hearing to capture prey and are known for maintaining dominance in their habitats with fierce-sounding snarls and high-pitched screams, especially when they are hungry.
The species is listed as endangered due to the threat of extinction in the wild. This is due to devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a rare, contagious cancer found only in Tasmanian devils.
DFTD is transmitted from one animal to another through biting. The disease kills all infected devils within six to 12 months, and there is no known cure or vaccine. Both McLovin and Quirindi are disease-free.