The Devils@Cradle Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation facility at Cradle Mountain near the entrance to the World Heritage area of the Cradle Mountain National Park. Devils@Cradle is a specialized facility that focuses on the Tasmanian Devil, and also on Tasmania’s other carnivorous marsupials, thee Eastern Quoll and Spotted-tail Quoll. The ten hectare property is mostly undeveloped bushland with forest and grasslands habitat, with panoramic views of Cradle Mountain and the surrounding area.
The Visitors Centre has various educational displays, including a devils den which you can see into from inside the Centre, or from the outdoor viewing deck. You can take a guided tour round the Sanctuary to get a close up experience with a Tasmanian devil. Keeper guided tours operate hourly. On the tour, a keeper will explain the Tasmanian Devil life cycle and the impact of threats such as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an aggressive transmissible cancer that has caused the death of Tasmanian Devils in eastern parts of Tasmania. You may even get to touch a devil on the tour. The Centre can cater for tour for individuals, small groups and large groups such as coach groups and conferences.
You are free to wander through the sanctuary at your leisure see the animal in their dens, sun baking, play fighting or searching for food. There are lots of adults, juveniles and baby devils housed in landscaped viewing enclosures with natural looking habitat.
Night feeding tours operate every day at 5:30pm with additional 8:30pm tour during daylight savings. Devils are primarily nocturnal and a lot more active at night. Under environmentally sensitive lighting, you will see the devils socializing and see the power of their jaws and teeth as they tear apart their meal in a group feeding session.
The Sanctuary runs a Captive Breeding Program to help maintain a viable captive population, with the intention of release and reintroduction into the wild at a later date. The sanctuary is committed to the long term conservation of the Tasmanian Devil, to assist in ensuring the species survives in healthy numbers in the Cradle Mountain wilderness. The breeding program has been very successful with five devils raised in the first breeding season, and eleven young raised in the second breeding season. Some of these young will be released to the wild, and some will be sent to other zoos and sanctuaries to increase the breeding diversity. A rehabilitation program has also been implemented to hand rear orphaned baby devils and rehabilitate injured devils for release back into the wild.
The Devils@Cradle Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary is located at 3950 Cradle Mountain Road, just 500 metres from the entrance to the Cradle Mountain National Park. The Centre is open daily from 10am to 4pm.