Tasmanian devils living in the southwest of Tasmania are healthy and cute as can be. The deadly form of facial cancer known as Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) that has been running rampant among most of these marsupials has not yet spread to this remote region, announced the Tasmanian Government in a news release.
An expedition into the area has uncovered a small, healthy population of Tasmanian devils and has managed to trap 14 individuals, which now carry the hope of the entire species.
The expedition — conducted by an international team from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP), the University of Sydney, Australia, and Toledo Zoo, in Ohio — took the researchers deep in the wilderness of the Tasmanian southwest coast, in an area where such a mission had never been attempted before.
After eight days in the wild, the team eventually managed to track down and capture a group of Tasmanian devils, which turned out to be free of DFTD.
"The combined trapping mission across Wreck Bay and Nye Bay saw 14 individual devils trapped," expedition leader Dr. Sam Fox said in the news release.
"All were in good condition and, importantly, there were no signs of disease," specified Fox, who is a biologist at the Toledo Zoo and also leads the STDP team.