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Move over Taz, the real Tasmanian devils are in town.

Posted January 1, 2014. Photo courtesy of Steve Allen.

Four Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) moved into the ABQ BioPark Zoo and can be seen daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visitors are quickly learning that the animals are quite different from Taz, a Looney Tunes character based on these carnivorous marsupials.

Tasmanian devils are solitary scavengers that will travel up to 10 miles in search of carrion. Several animals may come upon the same carcass at once, and they scream and growl for eating rights.

Wild populations are quickly declining due to a deadly and contagious cancer. Infected animals grow gigantic facial tumors, which leads to starvation. While researchers look for a cure, zoos are raising healthy, captive individuals to ensure their survival.

As a new year starts, the ABQ BioPark is excited to join world-class conservation facilities in helping save Tasmanian devils. Jasper, Poppi, Syler and Makala, the four devils at the Zoo, are sure to make 2014 a lively and adventurous year.

What are you looking forward to in 2014? Tell us on Facebook.

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