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Tasmanian Devil sisters reunited at Aussie Ark's Barrington Tops sanctuary

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Stories don't get much more beautiful than this, Tasmanian Devil sisters Bitsy and Bonnie have been reunited at Aussie Ark's sanctuary in the Barrington Tops. 

In September 2020, Conservation organisation Aussie Ark released 26 Tasmanian devils back to the wild in the Barrington Tops with all of them fitted with tail transmitters so that the organisation could track their movements and monitor their wellbeing.

In a heart-warming development, recent monitoring shows that sister devils, Bitsy and Bonny, have reunited after more than two years apart! Bonny and Bitsy were siblings who shared a pouch and then snuggled together in their mother’s den until they were about 10 months old. After this time, they weaned from their mother and were placed into separate creche yards.

Two years later the female devils were chosen for behaviour and genetics to be placed into the wilderness of Barrington Tops and reunited with one another. On a camera trap the girls were even seen bullying a large male together. He ran away, looking quite intimidated.

“The Aussie Ark team has worked hard for this release to occur and it is an important release not only for Tasmanian devils but for the entire ecosystem. Our ability to witness such relationships and behaviour is pioneering and we feel privileged that we have been able to do so,” said Hayley Shute, Manager of Life Sciences at Aussie Ark.

Tasmanian devils play an important role in the ecosystem, acting much like garbage cleaners of the bush. Devils are scavengers, and as such, clean up dead carcasses reducing the spread of disease. Bitsy and Bonny seem to be a team in this effort.

“The release program, so far, has been a smashing success. We have been able to monitor so many different behaviours and movement patterns. We are looking forward to the upcoming breeding season and have high hopes for the birth of the first wild Tasmanian devil joeys on Mainland Australia,” said Hayley. 

Head to aussieark.org.au to learn more about these projects and follow Aussie Ark on Facebook and Instagram to follow their progress.

Image credit: Aussie Ark