Tasmanian devils return to mainland Australia for first time in 3,000 years, and Chris Hemsworth played a part
Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Patanky, helped Australian conservation group Aussie Ark to release 11 Tasmanian devils into a wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney.
It’s been 3,000 years since Tasmanian devils have lived in the wild on mainland Australia. But now, they’re making a comeback, according to CNN.
Eleven of the endangered marsupials were released into a wildlife sanctuary north of Sydney last month, CNN reported. In March, a trial run of 15 Tasmanian devils were successfully released before the new group was released in September.
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and his wife, Elsa Pataky, helped the conservation group Aussie Ark to release the Tasmanian devils into the wild, according to People magazine.
Aussie Ark shared a video, which showed Hemsworth and Pataky as they helped to release the Tasmanian devils.
Tasmanian Devils are making a comeback with the help of some friends! Friends of @wildark, @ChrisHemsworth and @Elsapataky_ helped reintroduce 11 devils to the wild Sept. 10. @Aussie_ark is monitoring the devils and all seem to be doing well. #DevilComeback #RewildAustralia. . pic.twitter.com/Uck8P30DRR— Aussie Ark (@aussie_ark) October 5, 2020
“In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country,” said Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner in a statement, according to Fox News.
“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. 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.”
Although it is unknown why Tasmanian devils disappeared from mainland Australia, it is believed that human actions — early hunters killing off other creatures that were the devils’ food source — played a role, according to National Geographic.
The animals have continued to live on in the Australian island state of Tasmania, but a deadly disease in the 1990s lowered the number of Tasmanian devils to around 25,000, according to National Geographic.
Over the next two years, Aussie Ark plans to release 40 more Tasmanian devils into the wildlife sanctuary, and eventually to release more into unfenced areas, according to BBC News.