Commencing 1st July 2016, AAT Kings will be increasing its efforts to protect Australia and New Zealand’s native animals with the announcement of its latest sponsorship agreement with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. Already providing support to Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital and Rainbow Springs’ kiwi birds breeding program, through this new partnership AAT Kings is committed to helping with vaccine research that may ultimately protect Tasmania’s iconic devils from the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) epidemic currently endangering these animals.
Anthony Hayes, Managing Director of AAT Kings, commented “Tasmania is a nature lover’s paradise with its lakes and rugged mountains and its native Tasmanian devils are a popular and much adored symbol of the island state. Due to the severity and aggressive nature of DFTD, the survival of this species is under serious threat and we feel passionately about acting now to prevent extinction of a national treasure. We are proud to be a partner with Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, which invests in a broad range of research and other activities that will, hopefully, enable these animals to thrive in their natural environment for years to come.”
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal is the official fundraising arm of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, Australia’s official response to DFTD, the contagious cancer which has caused devil numbers to decline by well over 80 percent. Administered by the University of Tasmania Foundation, the Appeal helps deliver funds to high-calibre research and management programs that are unique in the world in its scale and approach.
“Our primary focus at the moment is supporting the critical devil vaccine research being undertaken by the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute of Medical Research” said Rebecca Cuthill, Manager, Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.
“AAT Kings commitment to fund the management, care and feeding of five devils who are part of the vaccine research work is integral to this projects success. These “research devils” are crucial to understanding how a vaccine against DFTD may work in the wild and will contribute to helping ensure a disease-free future for the Tasmanian devil may be in sight,” she added.