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article imageReview: ‘Aussie Animal Island’ Special

By Alexander Baron     Sep 25, 2013 in Environment
Hobart - This short but fascinating documentary covers the release into the wild of a group of Tasmanian devils that were reared in captivity.
This half hour documentary is currently on ITV iplayer but it can also be found elsewhere, and will doubtless find its way onto video sites in due course. If you are unfamiliar with the Tasmanian devil, it is the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, a claim it has held only since 1936 when the Tasmanian tiger became officially extinct. And if the programme featured in this episode of Aussie Animal Island does not succeed, the Tasmanian devil may go the same way.
Devil Facial Tumour Disease is considered such a serious threat to these creatures that it even has its own dedicated website.
There is really not a lot that can be said about this particular programme; it shows a small group of these endearing but fierce creatures being moved from a special isolation unit near the capital Hobart to Maria Island (pronounced as in black maria rather than Maria from West Side Story). This idyllic place is a dedicated national park; the integration of the first Tasmanian devils into the fauna appears to have been successful. Which is good news for them, but probably not such good news for the world's smallest species of penguin that also inhabits the island.
If the narrator's voice sounds familiar, that's because it belongs to Jason Donovan. This was the second programme in the series. Hopefully there will be a follow up ten or twenty years from now.
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