The Australian Reptile Park is celebrating this week with the 1st birthday of two of the Central Coast wildlife sanctuaries most adorable family members, Dash and Violet the Tasmanian devil twins. The pair have become quite the viral online superstars as viewers online embraced their mischievous and fun personalities. Over 7.7 million people have watched videos of Dash and Violet growing up and being hand-raised.
Dash and Violet were born over a year ago at Aussie Ark and were sadly found by keepers helpless and alone in the snow with no mother in sight after heavy snowfall. Keepers were concerned their chances at survival were low due to the cold weather. However, Head of Mammals Dean Reid took it upon himself to raise the twins and became their surrogate “mum”.
Caring for Tasmanian devil joeys is no easy task and includes waking up every night at 2am to feed them and supply infinite cuddles for the six-month. Dash and Violet have now grown into healthy Tasmanian devils and live in the Tasmanian devil exhibit at the Australian Reptile Park.
Celebrations for Dash and Violet’s 1st birthday included treats hidden in boxes which their pair ripped apart in typical toddler fashion and a cake made from mince – their favourite food! From a pair of joeys who seemed like all hope was lost, Australian Reptile Park staff are celebrating a successful life-saving intervention.
Head of Mammals Dean Reid states, “I couldn’t be happier to see Dash and Violet now thriving. They’re both quite the little characters and will follow you around her enclosure when we’re servicing it in the mornings! I love them both to bits and above all else it’s important to educate everyone on just how unique and incredible our Australian wildlife is.”
Dash and Violet are a part of the Aussie Ark’s vital conservation breeding project to help save the endangered Tasmanian devil. The Australian Reptile Park works closely with the conservation facility and the two wildlife organisations work together to ensure the future of Australia’s native wildlife.
Currently classified as endangered the Tasmanian devil is under threat from a transmissible disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). In Tasmania, the disease has reduced the wild population to less than 95% since its discovery in 1996. DFTD continues to menace the wild Tasmanian devil population. With still no cure or vaccine in sight and a continuing population decline, insurance breeding programs like Aussie Ark and the Australian Reptile Park continue to be the species’ best hope of long-term survival.
The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo located the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle. Enjoy live entertaining shows, themed exhibits and interaction with many of the wildlife sanctuaries residents. The Park is open daily from 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day), with complimentary parking and BBQ facilities. More information at www.reptilepark.com.au