S'pore Night Safari debuts 4 endangered Tasmanian Devils called Crumpet, Panini, Snickers & Jesse

The cutest Devils.

Ashley Tan | November 16, 2022, 12:06 PM

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The Singapore Night Safari has welcomed four Tasmanian Devils from Australia, and launched the new Tasmanian Devil exhibit on Nov. 15.

The four female Devils are called Crumpet, Snickers, Panini and Jesse, and are around three years old.

An endangered species

They are part of the insurance population managed by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Programme (STDP), an initiative by the Australian and Tasmanian State governments to protect the creatures' population from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

DFTD is a type of transmissible cancer highly contagious among Tasmanian Devil populations, causing facial tumours that prevent the animals from eating, and which can lead to starvation.

The disease spreads when the Devils bite each other while fighting or mating.

Since the discovery of the disease in 1996, the wild population of Devils has decreased by at least 80 per cent in diseased areas, and Tasmanian Devils are now listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The STDP thus aims for a more resilient wild Devil population that requires limited human management intervention.

Arrived on Oct. 7

The four Devils were initially expected to arrive in Singapore in 2020, with planning and discussions for the Night Safari to receive the animals starting as early as 2018.

However, a spanner was thrown in the works with the Covid-19 pandemic and its travel restrictions.

After four years of planning, the four animals eventually arrived safely here on Oct. 7, accompanied by a keeper from the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Devils were brought to their indoor dens for a mandatory 30-day quarantine.

Crumpet, Snickers, Panini and Jesse are now ready to meet the public after their quarantine, health checks, and acclimatising to their new habitat at the Wallaby Trail.

Their new home comprises two climate-controlled indoor exhibits, two outdoor habitats for them to roam and explore, as well as back-of-house facilities consisting of indoor dens and outdoor yards where the Devils can rest during the day.

The exhibits are also decorated with rockworks, water features, and Australian trees like Eucalyptus and shrubs like the Red Flowered Silky Oak to simulate the species' natural habitat.

Crumpet will be housed with Snickers, while Jesse will be housed with Panini.

Unique personalities

"Tasmanian Devils are known to be small in stature but big in personality," the Night Safari wrote in its press release.

They are so named likely due to the unique vocalisations of growls, screams and screeches during feeding or confrontations with each other.

Razak Jaffar, Assistant Curator for marsupials under Mandai Wildlife Group shared more about the creatures' individual personalities.

Crumpet is a "confident individual with a more dominant personality", and does not like to be picked up by the keepers for health checks.

Crumpet. Photo from Mandai Wildlife Group

Snickers is more reserved and calmer with being handled, and prefers to hide in her nest box when Crumpet expresses her dominance.

Snickers yawning. Photo from Mandai Wildlife Group

Jesse and Panini have formed a bond despite squabbling at the start, preferring to sleep together in the same nest box and appearing restless when they are not together.

Panini. Photo from Mandai Wildlife Group

Jesse. Photo from Mandai Wildlife Group

Watch the Devils exploring their exhibit here.

Top photo from Mandai Wildlife Group