Image: © Aussie Ark
The Animal Facts Editorial Team
June 22, 2023 5:21 pm
Barrington Tops, New South Wales, Australia
Aussie Ark have celebrated the first birthday of their Tasmanian Devil, Sandy who was hand-raised by rangers at the conservation project last year.
Sandy was born during winter of 2022 and Dean Reid, Operations manager at Aussie Ark stepped in as her caregiver during August of that year. That month also saw the passing of Australian icon Olivia Newton-John. To honour her legacy the joey was named for her most famous on-scene character, Sandy from Grease.
To mark her first birthday Sandy was treated to a ‘cake’ of meat, a belly-rub and her favourite game of tug ‘o’ war.
She was raised alongside her adopted brother, Danny, named for Danny Zuko, John Travolta’s character in Grease and Sandy’s love interest!).
Unfortunately it was touch and go for Sandy as Reid explained, “She was a lot smaller than Danny, and very fragile. But with lots of love and care she pulled through, and was soon giving her brother a run for his money!”
Since then Sandy not only survived, but thrived becoming a favourite of visitors to Aussie Ark. At the Open Days held at the at the Barrington Tops facility this summer she welcomed cuddles from young and old. At present she is living alongside Danny in an enclosure at the Species Recovery Unit. Soon she will embark on her next big adventure, becoming part of the breeding program at Aussie Ark.
Most devils – even those which are hand-raised – become feisty by one year old but Sandy has retained her soft side and still readily accepts cuddles from her human family.
Aussie Ark began as Devil Ark, aimed at ensuring the survival of this threatened species as they face a contagious cancer. Over the past seven years the Tasmanian Devil population at Aussie Ark has grown to boast the largest population of Tasmanian Devils on mainland Australia. Many of these roam in the wilds of the 400-hectare Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary.
Image: © Aussie Ark
When eating a Tasmanian Devil will consume the entire prey item including the bones and fur. They will scavenge food items no matter how old they are.
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