The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae, now found in the wild only on the Australian island-state of Tasmanian. The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian Devil became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger in 1936. It is characterised by its stocky, muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. Despite its rotund appearance, the devil is capable of surprising speed and endurance, and can climb trees and swim across rivers.
An endangered species, 90% of the Tasmanian Devil population has been wiped out by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), discovered in 1995. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been involved in the research and prevention of DFTD for over 15 years, which includes involvement with the extensive breeding program, Devil Ark, to save these feisty marsupials. This breeding program – based out of New South Wales – currently has a healthy insurance population of Tasmanian Devils in captivity and plans to reintroduce healthy adults into the wild, ensuring the survival of the species.