Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil – click to embiggen

Apologies lovely readers for an extended absence.  Its now my third week back at work after my holiday and I am *still* catching up on the work that built up while I was away!  Plus all the work that comes in while I’m trying to do the catching up.

So I have been busier and tireder than I expected with less creative energy for image editing than we would like.  There is also the looming deadline for my assignment due at the end of the month, and my text book I ordered from Amazon, paying three times the price of the book in fast shipping STILL hasn’t arrived 😦

However the lovely lady at the end of the online help chat credited back my $40 freight but confirmed the book won’t arrive til next week, ie 3 weeks after I ordered it.

And a couple of days ago I found out my chest freezer is now functioning as a fridge and I have had to buy a new freezer, and have to throw out a lot of food 😦

So have a picture of the Tasmanian Devil, a small singularly unattractive predator that is now the top of the food chain in Tasmania.  It is a small animal, about the size of a large cat but a lot heavier in the body and head.  They come in the black and white pattern, and also in plain black, depending on the genetic lottery apparently.

Sadly they are under threat due to a face fungus that is devastating the remaining population, and Tasmania is sending animals to various zoos around the world to see if those animals also develop the disease, I assume to identify if its environmental.  We are receiving 5 at our local animal park as part of this program.

This was my first time seeing one up close, and its about as close as I wanted to get as they are quite vicious and have an impressive bite.  You see them on road signs all around Tasmania, warning they are in the area and as they are nocturnal, the speed limit is dropped to 75km at night.  I didn’t do any night driving but I saw a LOT of dead animals – wallabies and kangaroos and possums mostly so it is a necessary warning.  For the animals and for the cars.

Fortunately for the Devil, much is being done towards protecting and conserving it, unlike the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger which was hunted til the last one died in captivity in 1936.  I saw about 5 min of black and white film, a stuffed one and a skin, that are pretty much all that remain of a such a unique creature.  The display was in Hobart Museum which seemed both appropriate and ironic.  Sobering stuff.

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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One Response to Tasmanian Devil

  1. I’ve heard about these critters and yet never had the slightest desire to see one IRL!! Your wonderful description of them tells me why!! I wanted to tell you that your writing is every bit as good as your photography!!

    Alaska is starting to lose its Polar Bear population because of the warming waters. It’s not noticeable to humans, except that glaciers are retreating, but it is also melting more of the ice on the Polar Cap which is where the Polar Bears wander in search of food – baby seals on the ice or bigger seals when they come up for air at a hole in the ice are their favorites. They are wicked large animals and have been know to enter small Northern villages and gone after both animals and humans.

    The Moose who live in much of Central and Northern Alaska die by the hundreds each winter. Either they are hit by vehicles, often doing as much damage to the cars and humans inside as to themselves, or they are hit by the trains that travel from Homer AK north to Fairbanks AK and back. There is so much snow in those areas during the winter that the moose have a great deal of difficulty getting around, so they ‘migrate’ to the train tracks, which must be kept plowed for the trains to run. Once they are there and by the time the engineer sees them, there is simply not enough time to stop. It is a sad part of life, I think, but one that seems likely not to change. Having lived in Anchorage for 8 years I saw many moose right in town in neighborhoods! At first I thought that was what they told everyone new to AK, but then I actually saw and, of course, photographed many of them! They are HUGE animals and not ones to mess with! One ‘adventure’ occurred when I was driving down a well traveled street in Anchorage during the winter. I noticed movement out of the corner of my left eye, so I slowed way down and as soon as I saw the two moose casually crossing the street, I stopped and just waited. They stood next to my car’s driver seat – where I was (!) – and I couldn’t see their heads, even though I was in a taller van! Finally they decided to move on and then I did too! Not creatures to mess with, even in a car!

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