environmental

After 3,000 Years Away, Tasmanian Devils Return to Australia

Thor is taking a break from saving humans with the Avengers to turn his attention to a slightly smaller animal.

Chris Hemsworth and his wife, fellow actor Elsa Pataky, recently helped conservationists release 11 Tasmanian devils into a nearly 1000-acre wildlife sanctuary in mainland Australia. The last time a Tasmanian devil set its paw on the soil of Australia’s mainland was over 3,000 years ago, according to a release from Global Wildlife Conservation.

The Australian actor and conservationists released these animals in an effort to “rewild” Australia — the country with the world’s worst mammal extinction rate. Aussie Ark, in partnership with Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk, started this project over 10 years ago and is proud to finally have a former animal resident back on Australian soil.

“In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country,” Tim Faulkner, president of Aussie Ark, said in a statement. “Not only is this the reintroduction of one of Australia’s beloved animals, but of an animal that will engineer the entire environment around it, restoring and rebalancing our forest ecology after centuries of devastation from introduced foxes and cats and other invasive predators. Because of this reintroduction and all of the hard work leading up to it, someday we will see Tasmanian devils living throughout the great eastern forests as they did 3,000 years ago.”

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