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October 29, 2020

Ode to the Tasmanian Devil

A poem by Shannon Santangelo, Children's Zoo Keeper.

Our loud growls and screams may give you a fright,
If you were wandering about on a dark Tasmanian night.

Our gaping, teethy mouth you might think is quite ferocious,
But it's typically just a yawn, and we are rather shy with hiding skills considerably precocious.

Sporting black and white fur and small red ears,
We carry young in a pouch and live about five to six years.

We enjoy eating a variety of both fresh and old meats,
Wallaby, possum and wombat are just a few of our favorite treats.

Bones and fur are no test for our powerful jaws,
And our long, sharp teeth are rather useful as we gnaw.

We prefer to live alone as we sleep or roam,
But you may hear us loudly sharing a meal nearby our home.

Resting in our dens is where we spend most of our day,
But a nice swim or nap in the sun is quite enjoyable if we may.

Our wild friends are threatened by a fatal disease,
And unfortunately our frequent biting is how it spreads with ease.

Luckily our human counterparts are here to help save us from extinction,
For an ecosystem without Tasmanian devils would have quite the distinction.

We traveled to the United States to be species ambassadors,
As for now scientists have not yet found any cures.

With the help of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, our populations are growing in human care,
And successful releases back into the wild they continue to prepare.

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