CUTE! Chris Hemsworth helps release Tasmanian Devils back into the wild

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After 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils finally made their return to the wild in mainland Australia on September 10, with the help of actors Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, marking a “monumental” moment in rebuilding Australia’s ecosystem, said president of conservation group Aussie Ark Tim Faulkner.

Aussie Ark, in partnership with Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk had released 11 Tasmanian devils into a wildlife sanctuary in New South Wales, and has plans to release 20 more devils next year, followed by another 20 the following year.

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world but the re-introduction of the species to the mainland will help rebalance the forest ecology that was damaged by the introduction of invasive predators, said Faulkner.

Tasmanian devils were wiped out from the mainland after being hunted by dingoes, whilst the Devil Facial Tumor Diseases, a contagious cancer, reduced the devil population on the island state of Tasmania by up to 90%.

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