The West

Tassie devils escape from zoo
Tassie devils escape from zoo

Update, 4.15pm: A Tasmanian Devil has been spotted at the back of the zoo it broke out of in Perth's south yesterday.

Three adolescent Tasmanian Devils are on the run after a break-out at the Peel Zoo in Pinjarra early yesterday morning.

A large eucalypt crashed into one of the devil’s enclosures at zoo which housed seven of the iconic and endangered Australian animals.

However, a member of the public phoned owner David Cobbold around 3.15pm to say he’d seen one of the devils in bushland at the rear of the zoo.

While they could travel up to 20km at night in the wild, Mr Cobbold said he didn’t believe the runaways had travelled too far as the zoo gave off enough food smells to keep them in the area.

Three of the little devils escaped sparking a frantic hunt by zoo keepers to locate the rare animals.

Mr Cobbold has said he held grave fears for the welfare of three escaped devils called Itchy, Scratchy and Genghis.

Mr Cobbold has said the hand-reared devils are comfortable with humans and may wander into a backyard attracted by dog food.

"They were born and bred in captivity and associate humans with being fed, they may wander into a backyard when the smell pet food," he said.

"My fear is a toddler could wander out and think it's a dog and try to pet it... (the devils) wouldn't attack but I wouldn't like to see them cornered."

Traps have been set and the enclosure repaired, but there are fears the devils may be long gone as they can travel over 10-20km in a night, according to a statement from the zoo.

Mr Cobbold said a zookeeper noticed an escaped Tasmanian Devil roaming the zoo grounds when she arrived to feed the animals at 7am yesterday.

The zoo has warned sheep graziers in the area the carnivorous marsupials may be attracted by lambs or carrion.

The public is also advised they should under no circumstances approach the devils as they can become aggressive if cornered.

Mr Cobbold hard urged motorists to keep watch for the escapee trio who are likely to be attracted by road kill, and could be hit by trucks.

Anyone who sights the escaped animals is asked to contact the zoo on 0400 788 289. A reward is offered for information leading to the capture of the animals.
Peel Zoo now has 16 Tasmanian Devils still remaining at the centre.

Peel Zoo is a privately owned, self-funded, family business, about one hour’s drive from Perth.

The West Australian

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