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Tasmanian devils ‘Wayti and Papiti’ bound for Tokyo’s Tama Zoo

Pulse Tasmania
The two Tasmanian devils off to Japan. Image / Supplied

Two Tasmanian Devils are en-route to Tokyo’s Tama Zoo as part of the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program.

The program, which has been running since 2013, aims to build international relationships and raise awareness for the conservation of the species.

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Named Wayti and Papiti, the devils were last week transferred to zoo officials by Premier Jeremy Rockliff at the Cressy Wildlife Facility.

Director of Tama Zoo Mr Hirofumi Watabe said the efforts of conservationists have given the devils a “significantly brighter” future.

“It was predicted that the species would be extinct within 10 years in 2008. And though the situation is still unpredictable, it plateaus now, due to all the efforts of conservationists with the cooperation of the people of Tasmania,” he said.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff (centre) with the Consul General of Japan in Melbourne Shimada Junji (far-left) and Japanese breeding staff. Image / Tama Zoo

“I firmly believe in the power of collaboration, in this case between wildlife researchers and zoo professionals. It is through collective effort and dedication that we can truly make a meaningful impact.”

“The efforts in Tasmania for the devil serve as a tremendous inspiration for our own endeavours. I am confident we can build upon this foundation that was laid by the passionate community in Tasmania to further promote awareness and conservation activities.”

Japan Consul General Shimada Junji said Premier Jeremy Rockliff was “very famous”, adding he “will be remembered as the Premier of Tasmania that brought Tasmania Devils to Japan”.

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Tama Zoo hope to release the devils to visitors on March 14 after a strict quarantine and handover period.

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