Since a number of rumours have been circulating regarding the tasmanian devils in Copenhagen Zoo, I thought it was time to give you the full story... The 2.2 tasmanian devils arrived in Copenhagen Zoo in early April 2006. They were a birthday gift to the new Prince Christian of Denmark born in October 2005. His mother Mary comes from Tasmania and the devils were given for two reasons: 1) The symbolic reason. To give the little prince some of his national heritage and strengthen the bond of friendship between Denmark and Tasmania. 2) The practical reason. Due to the new facial tumor disease that have spread across the wild devil population on Tasmania it has been the wish of many devil-conservationists to start an ex-situ population across the sea that is free of the disease. A new enclosure was built for the devils and I consider this to be one of the zoo's most successfull projects from these past few years. The combined indoor and outdoor exhibit cost 2.5 million danish kroners (336.000€/300.000£/482.000$) and had to be researched, designed and built in just under six months. The experienced adviser for the zoo has been Androo Kelly, the Tasmanian devil expert from Trowunna Wildlife Park. He visited the zoo again in 2009 to check up on the devils and figure out why they are not breeding. At least one of them have produced young at least once but they all died in the pouch. The following is a text written by the vice-director in Copenhagen Zoo about what Androo Kelly said on his latest visit to be the reason for the lack of viable young: Despite a really nice effort from animal keepers' side, it has not been managed to get viable offspring from them. The older of the two females is now above the age when you can expect offspring and the youngest is close to the border - she maybe has one more chance! It turns out that the nipples on both females over time has been deformed (can happen in connection with the birth of young that died after a day or two, and thus were not able to empty the glands for milk) so that they can no longer function intentionally. With the older female it applies to all four nipples, while for the youngest it "only" applies to three of the four nipples. So there is a slight chance that she can handle a single young after the next heat. In Australia is is still being debated whether they should include foreign zoos in the breeding programme or not. We have the only Tasmanian devils outside the Australian region and everyone is therefore focused on what happens here. Androo will continue his efforts to persuade the necessary people to start two populations outside Australia: one in Europe (based in Copenhagen) and one in the USA. Androo stresses that it is also evident that the missing devil offspring in Copenhagen has so far not been caused by improper or poor care. On the contrary: He is excited about the enthusiasm that characterizes the management of them and also want's to emphasize this in the report he is to write to the Tasmanian authorities. Even in Australia and in Tasmania the breeding results are very volatile from year to year and with only two females, there is nothing strange if it fails. Androo - and we - will therefore work to ensure that the current Tasmanian devils are followed up with more when they themselves are certainly too old to breed. Below is an interview featuring Androo Kelly by the devils in Copenhagen Zoo talking about their management and the lack of breeding success.