PHOTOS: Ugly Animals That Need Saving Too
The San Diego Zoo has partnered with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program based in Tasmania. The program is in the process of collaborating with zoos and research institutes around the world to save the endangered animals.
The four devils at the zoo are completely disease-free and, by all accounts, are quite a handful.
According to zoo staff, the devils give off a fierce snarl and high-pitched scream, which is heard just about every day. They do this around feeding time to establish dominance.
With a stretch of imagination, they look a little like the famous Warner Brothers cartoon Tasmanian devil, complete with flying spit and sharp teeth.
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Normally Tasmanian devils are nocturnal hunters, using their keen senses of smell and hearing to find prey or carrion. At the zoo, however, they'll likely learn to take the "day shift" since they won't have to work as hard to find dinner.
As for the future of these animals, Menzies said, "The most responsible course of action now would be to monitor the disease in the wild and maintain strong captive populations for possible reintroduction. There may still be resistant individuals in the wild."