Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky have been helping conservationists release the Tasmanian devil back onto mainland Australia, where they’ve been extinct for 3,000 years!
The Hollywood couple teamed up with environmental group Aussie Ark who’ve been working to rebuild the Tassie devil population for years.
Together, they set 11 of them free last month at a sanctuary in New South Wales.
“We laid some traps to catch the devils and now we’re going to release them out into the wild,” Chris says in a video posted on YouTube this week.
“In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country,” President of Aussie Ark Tim Faulkner says in a statement.
“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.”
And he’s right. According to the group, the devil “comeback” will not only help regulate populations of possums and wallabies but also help reintroduce small mammals like bandicoots and allow forests to regenerate.
“Because of this reintroduction and all of the hard work leading up to it, someday we will see Tasmanian devils living throughout the great eastern forests as they did 3,000 years ago,” Faulkner continues.
Tasmanian devil populations were listed as endangered on the United Nation’s Red List in 2008 after being wiped out from the mainland by dingoes. Numbers in Tasmania also dropped due to a facial tumour disease they developed.
But thanks to the work of Aussie Ark together with Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk, there are now nearly 400 joeys which have been bred, and will slowly be released into the wild.
Learn more about their work through the video below or checkout devilcomeback.org
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