Yindi (YIN-dee) and Jannali (JAN-al-ee), two female Tasmanian devils, have joined the Emerson Children’s Zoo in a new, $550,000 Tasmanian-themed habitat. Visitors will be able to see the new arrivals beginning April 28.
The Tasmanian devils will have more than 2,000 square feet of outdoor living space to explore, including two dens, a fresh water pond and a landscape of hardy plants, boulders and logs. The habitat also offers the animals an elevated area where they can look over the exhibit area below, and plenty of room to dig and burrow.
“These animals will have a myriad of opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors in this complex environment,” said Alice Seyfried, Fred Saigh Curator of the Emerson Children's Zoo. “The zoo will also be providing an interactive play area for our young guests to learn about the Tasmanian devil’s unique natural history and the threats the species faces in the wild.”
The 2-year-old sisters, which came to St. Louis from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia, are the first to live at the Saint Louis Zoo in three decades. Saint Louis Zoo was chosen to be one of only six zoos in the United States to care for Tasmanian devils through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, an initiative by the Australian government. Saint Louis Zoo provides funds to Australia’s Zoo Aquarium Association Wildlife Conservation Fund supporting Tasmanian devil population monitoring and management. Tasmanian devil populations in the wild have been decimated since the immergence of devil facial tumor disease in 1996.
"Because Tasmanian devils are in such trouble in the wild, the Saint Louis Zoo has joined other like-minded conservation organizations in an initiative to secure a healthy future for this species," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo. "These two animals will serve as ambassadors to raise awareness among our 3.2 million annual visitors about the need to save the wild devil population.”
Saint Louis Zoo is located at One Government Dr., St. Louis, MO, 63110. General admission to the zoo is free. Admission to the Emerson Children’s Zoo is $4 per person and free for 2 and under. Saint Louis Zoo offers free admission to the children's zoo the first hour the zoo is open.