Tasmanian devils head north to new home

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The ailing but iconic Tasmanian devil is about to get a new home, with a giant sanctuary set to open in New South Wales.

Devil Ark will house up to 1,000 animals over a lifespan of at least 10 years. The centre, which will open in December, was conceived by staff Australian Reptile Park (famous for its roadside dinosaur statue).

The ark will form part of the mainland insurance program aimed at saving the species from extinction. The Tasmanian devil is under threat from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), a contagious cancer that has seen numbers drop by about 64 per cent in the wild.

Though notorious for their aggressive eating habits, devils are scavengers rather than hunters, feeding largely on carrion — animals that are already dead.

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