Baby Tasmanian devils lounging in the sun
In the past, Tasmanian devils, like Tasmanian tigers (otherwise known as thylacines), were blamed for killing livestock in their native island state. People even thought they would attack and eat humans. In truth, though, these predatory marsupials only ever took chickens, or at most livestock weakened by illness. According to modern researchers, Tasmanian devils are nowhere near as vicious as they’ve been portrayed to be. In fact, they’re actually quite shy and nervous around people.
Be that as it may, starting in 1830, Tasmanian devils were trapped and poisoned for a century. Moreover, it was just in the nick of time that the animals were brought back from the brink of extinction – unlike the thylacine. Tasmanian devils were declared protected in 1941, five years after the death of the last thylacine at Hobart Zoo. Yet this still wasn’t the end of the Tasmanian devil being hunted, and culling increased again in the 1950s and ‘60s.