Two Tasmanian devils settle into new home at San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO — Two Tasmanian devils are making themselves at home in the San Diego Zoo after making the long voyage from their home at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia.

The duo, a “laid-back” male named McLovin and a “shy” female named Quirindi (pronounced Kwa-ren-dee), arrived in San Diego last year and have now completed a mandatory quarantine.

The devils are part of a partnership between the San Diego and Taronga zoos, intended to increase awareness about the species and inspire support for their conservation.

Tasmanian devils are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened species. They face the threat of extinction due to devil facial tumor disease, a rare, contagious cancer found only in the devils.

DFTD kills devils within a year of contracting the disease through biting — a common behavior among the animals when mating or feeding — and there is no known cure or vaccine.

McLovin and Quirinidi are disease free.

San Diego Zoo Global is one of numerous research institutes and zoos around the world working with the Save the Tasmanian Devil program — a government initiative established in 2003 to respond to the threat of the contagious cancer.