I met Chris Green on a boat in Lake Titicaca in September, 2007. Immediately we realized that we had something in common...Weird animals, well kinda. For starters, I just write about weird animals, and Chris actually works with them. Also because he lives on Tasmania, he doesn't really consider the animals he works with weird; they are pretty much the most normal animals he can think of...Whoa, that's deep.
Normal day at the office...
If Andrew and I were trying to make a joke about a typical Tasmanian person, we'd probably use Chris' resume as material. He has spent the last few years at a Tasmanian devil rescue center, and has recently moved to a job monitoring wallaby populations. Unfortunately, Tasmanian devils have been under attack by a form of contagious face cancer that may just wipe out their entire population. Luckily, they have people like Chris to take care of them and spread the message: They need help!
I finally convinced Chris to send me some exclusive pictures of him at work with the animals. They can be found below the fold. So can his explanation of what's going on with the Tasmanian devils (Tassies), and what you can do to help...
The large paragraphs are Chris' words. The captions are mine.
Does anyone know where in Chinatown Andrew and I have to go to buy one of these?
Spotted Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus
"The spotted animal is a spotted quoll. They are a marsupial carnivore which lives in trees and hunts or scavenges at night in the canopy or on the ground. They are opportunistic, preying on birds, eggs, smaller marsupials, through to carrion, and sometimes clash with tasmanian devils over a dead carcass. They will normally flee if a larger devil arrives for a feed. This quoll was caught in a devil trap as part of an ongoing population monitoring project, all animals caught are recorded for monitoring purposes."
Chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool.
If I raised a brood of Tassies, would they cling to my back like this? Hmm...
"Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), first observed in 1996, is threatening the existence of this unique animal. DFTD is characterised by lesions around the devil's mouth and head which quickly eat away the flesh and can render the animals mouth useless for feeding. Tasmanian devils with the disease usually die within three to eight months of the lesions first appearing."
It's fun to make them snarl just like the real thing from the cartoon!
A majestic wombat on the frozen tundra...
"Working with the devils was an awesome experience. They are an amazing animal, and its sad to see them afflicted by such a devastating disease. The insurance populations and ongoing research should go some way towards securing their future, but they are limited by funding and donations.
"If you want to put a link for people to find out more or make a donation, then use this. Its the Tasmanian government, Save the Tasmanian Devil Program."
"To make a donation, follow the link 'How You Can Help.' You can also join the facebook group 'Save the Tassie Devils'"
Thanks so much, Chris, for these awesome photos and your hard work!
Want to know the weirdest thing about Tasmanian wildlife? Wombats produce cuboid droppings.
The last link, to the donations page, is broken. Tassies are dying every minute because of your incompetence.