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Tasmanian devils born on the Australian mainland for the first time in 3,000 years

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Seven Tasmanian demon babies (known as joeys) were born at the 988-acre Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary in New South Wales, said Australian NGO Aussie Ark in an Instagram post Monday.

Tasmanian demons died on the mainland after the arrival of dingos (a species of wild dog) and were restricted to the island of Tasmania. However, their numbers once again suffered from a contagious form of cancer known as Devil’s Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has killed about 90% of the population since it was discovered in 1996.

Last September, Animal Ark introduced 11 of the creatures return to nature in mainland Australia, after a previous trial that included 15 of the marsupials, bringing the total number of Tasmanian demons on the continent to 26.

And now, a few months after their release, the creatures have successfully reproduced and conservationists have identified the tiny marsupials, which they say are the size of shellless peanuts, inside mothers ’bags.

According to Tourism Australia, Tasmanian demon women give birth to between 20 and 40 jewels at a time. The jewelry runs to her mother’s bag, which has only four teats. Those who arrive in the bag continue to live there for about three months.

“We have been working tirelessly for most of the ten years to bring the devils back to the nature of mainland Australia in the hopes of establishing a sustainable population. Once they return, it depended entirely on them,” Animal Ark said in a statement. Monday. “We had been watching them from afar until it was time to come in and confirm the birth of our first wild jewels. And what a moment it was!”

Tasmanian demons are the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world and are native apex predators. This means that its reintroduction will help control populations of wild cats and foxes that hunt other endangered species. Devils are also scavengers, which helps keep their environment free of disease.

In Tasmania itself, only 25,000 demons remain in the wild, according to the Aussie Ark.

“We’ve been able to historically return, albeit in its infancy, the devil to the peninsula, and today is another milestone altogether,” said Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark. video posted to Instagram.

CNN’s Jack Guy contributed the information.

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