Cute devils

Suzy with Awe, the Emu Suzy with Awe, the Emu
Suzy with Awe, the Emu


Nope, Suzy is no devil at all. But some Emus are. In some Zoos I heard of, the staff would not get near them.
Awe is different. A weired destiny drove her to Tasmania where she won't find a family in the wild. So she now lives in John and Lynne's property. Occasionally, Suzy comes around to help out with different works. So this was, when they fell in love with each other. Awe is a lamb when ever Suzy is around, and she spreads her trust and peacefulness amongst everyone around. She did not know me, but still allowed me to touch her, to feel her short wing that still is in place and hidden under the feathers. It is a very special relationship between the two of them.

Suzy with Awe, the Emu
John and Martha, the devil

But there's a true devil living in John's house, too. A cute Tasmanian devil one needs to handle with care.

To a large percentage, today's devils suffer from a deadly disease. It was identified as a infectious cancer distributed by their habit of biting all and everything including other devils. And due to the inbreed, the immune system does not realize it needs to do something and the victims will all die on the long run. One may dispute the efforts the Tasmanian government takes to do something for their national symbol, anyway, Martha lives here as part of a public programme. Her mum was found very ill and unable to raise her, so she was taken away and put into John and Lynne's care.

When I visited her, Martha was still a child. Shy, curious and playful, but already able to place painful bites. And she strongly reminded me to a Calvin and Hobbes comic with Calvin playing a monster. Any other animal, how dangerous ever it might be, would sometimes simply walk from left to right without doing anything special. Martha seemed to be unable to do that. All her live is about screaming and biting, she seldom arranged some minutes of not looking like saying "See how horrible I am!"

I was informed it was better not to touch her, but she felt it was good to bite me. And indeed it felt like described before: just a little bit more than it needs to hurt. Still, I was more than ready to get bitten another time, but I was advised better not to inspire her.

So I enjoyed the strange mixture of shyness, playfulness and aggression from some distance, not using the flash in order to protect the eyes of this nocturnal animal.

cuddle the devil
Devil about to attack

In the wild, devils do not need to attack their prey very often. Normally, they would feed on carcasses. Still, the mop was in a dangerous position. Even worse, if there's still a toe in the sock. The good news was: The owner of the toe loved to risk it, as healthy feet are not required for his professional life.

devil eating the sock

After a while of playing the time came to relax. And being totally finished, Martha depicted perfectly what it means to be flat out.

devil finished

If Martha would return to the wild, she most likely could manage to live the life of a true devil. But the disease is out there and there is no vaccination and no cure to fight it. So it was much better for her and her species to transfer her into the captive breeding program - she will be one of the matriarchs of the future Devil population once the disease has been eliminated - if ever. It's sad that her only options are captivity or almost certain misery and death from Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

devil portrait
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