Ambassador devils arrive in New Zealand
The latest two Ambassador Tasmanian devils have arrived safely in New Zealand.
The two male devils, three year old Smiley and Levi, arrived at Auckland Zoo earlier today as part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s (STDP) Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program (TDAP) and will join Herod, another ambassador devil, in the “Strangely Beautiful Australia” exhibit.
Smiley and Levi arriving in New Zealand
STDP Team Leader and Ambassador Program Liaison Officer David Schaap accompanied the devils as they travelled over the Tasman and will provide training to zoo staff on the care and husbandry of Tasmanian devils.
They will be closely monitored as they acclimatise to their new enclosure and from all reports they are settling in well to their new home.
Levi exploring his new home at Auckland Zoo
The TDAP was initiated by the STDP in 2013 with the aim of placing suitable Tasmanian devils from surplus ‘stock’ from within the STDP Insurance Population into world-class zoos as ‘ambassadors’.
These ambassador devils are provided for display purposes, rather than breeding, and play an important conservation role in raising awareness of the plight of the species on the world stage.
Only prominent zoos with a proven commitment to conservation are selected to participate in the TDAP and their involvement requires them to contribute directly to the STDPs conservation efforts in Tasmania for this endangered species.
Auckland Zoo devil keeper Nick meeting Smiley
Levi welfare check