The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is at the forefront of saving the island state’s emblematic animal from deadly disease.

Story Andrew Bain   Photo courtesy Devil Unzoo

A few steps inside the entrance to the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, owner John Hamilton stops and points at the earth. “That’s your welcome mat,” he says, indicating fresh scat in the middle of the path. “That’s from a wild devil wandering around here.”

Though John stands inside the wildlife park that he started 41 years ago on the Tasman Peninsula, there are few fences, and the presence of this devil scat highlights the unusual philosophy of the world’s first ‘unzoo’, where wild animals are free to come and go as they please. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #131

Outback Magazine: June/July 2020