NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
26 Feb 1998
- Taranna; Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park
- -43.06065 147.86473
- SONY TCD-D10
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser mics
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
2/26/98 1:00 pm
Hamilton house, continuation of intv
JH = John Hamilton
DD = David Doubilet
reading from old newspaper :40 jh This is a description of the tas devil from an 1861 edition of the LIN --good
2:05 jh "From the London Illustrated News 1861, "The Tasmanian Devil"* good take up to "shape"
4: 05 jh it belongs ...good up to shape
6:28 jh From the the London Ilustrated News ... **
7:51 jh the ucine desiue ... (stops)
8: 14 jh the ucine desieu... continues ...to these animals (stops)
series of takes
9: 14 jh these animals says mr. g peter harris ...destructive to poultry
9:36 jh they however furnished the convicts with a fresh meal ...
10:53 jh they are however easily procured by ... indiscriminately and voraciously...they also prey on dead fish and blubber ...
11:23 jh a male and a female ...
11:55 jh a male and a female ...
ends at 12:35
14:07 dd john, it seems to me that the tasmanian devil can open its jaws wider than almost any other mammal on land...
14: 17 jh the devil cert. has a gr. crushing ability w its jaws, its jaw
opening however is not as wide as that of its v close cousin the thylucine (sp) or tasmanian tiger and that is a 120 degree opening ...the devil's not quite that wide but certainly when they yawn and this is one of the displays they put on towards another animal its a rather fearful look and that's the yawn or the famous display of the famous tas devil photographs ...
15:02 dd the tas tiger is one the more blatant ext. on our planet it disappeared when from our tas and s australia
15:15 jh there are 2 schools of thought some people say it has disappeared i believe there's still a poss we'll find some, as time goes on i expect the chances of that happening will lessen ...the reason is we hear from time to time in our wildlife park from visitor stories of people who've seen them--15:42 and it was only about 18 months ago that somebody came to and said i've come specifically to see you i was driving on the area on the e side of the island and i saw an animal in my lights i was driving a truck i saw the animal for 90 seconds (16:00) ...we also ask them to fill an off report from wildlife service and w that we ask them to do a sketch and there are a couple charc of the thylucine and it relates to the shape of the tail ... (16:29) i don't believe these people are telling untruths ... (16i40)it is distinctive it has stripes, a very straight tail and is the size of a dog ...does it still exist? i think it poss does, but if has gone then the last one died in a zoo in hobart in captivity, in 1936 so really there's been no evidence for the last sixty years ...
17:19 dd what does a tas tiger look like?
17:25 jh a tas tiger or thylucine is about the size of a labrador not quite as fat has a very long kangaroo-like tail with a very thick butt to the tail so the body in fact extends behind the hind legs that doesnit start and then the tail starts the tail is an extension of the body it has a head that looks like a dog and (more description--good)
18:30 dd but the tas tiger disappeared when?
18:36 jh zoo, hobart, died in captivity
19:00 dd the tas tiger unlike the tas devil, was truly hunter rather than a scavenger
19:15 jh the tas tiger app had very great stamina ...wearing down prey...
19:47 jh**** i have marvelous story... old bushman ... i came to a clearing i heard a thump, thump, thump wallaby being chased and suddenly a tiger came into view and it stopped finally i whistled and that served two purposes i got my only look at a tas tiger and i gave that wallaby another head start 20:38 *********
--dd why tas devil exist only on tas not in australia? ..
21:29 jh intro of wild dog called the dingo ...wreaked havoc and small to medium size marsupial and with it went the tas devil food supply...no dingos on tas ...
23:18 dd diff between marsupial and placental animal
23:21 jh the chrac of a marsupial is that the female raises the little ones in a pouch ...23:50
--dd how did you start the devil park
24:00 jh i was a journalist in Hobart and was traveling in 1978 when i visited a place that was displaying koalas and as i left the place i came to the conclusion that no one was really doing very much to provide ...or display facility for the tas devil ...
--dd people rarely see tasmanian devils they are creatures of the night ... john what made you start the tas devils ...
25:31 jh i had always been int in tas wildlife ... i recog the fact that many people was doing much in to interpret animals ...took in injured animals ...pretty much an interest in these animals and desire to interpret this and educate people ...
26:33 dd what does the tas devils teeth look like?
--jh very sharp although old devils don't because as the bone crushes they wear quite a bit that's one of the things that affects an old tas devils, but young tas devils have extremely sharp teeth...fingers get cut quite often and infected
27:20 dd at the farm you feed them mostly road kill, victims ...how do you get them
27:44 jh we have people who bring them to us and the first process is to throw them in the freezer this may not sound a part nice task but
really wallabies ...hit kill abs perfect food for our tas devil here so they're thrown in the freezer, and then chop them up and in end perfect food, also feed them rabbits which have been introduced to this part of the world and are regarded as vermin, so the rabbits are shot and we rather enjoy feeding them rabbits as well
asks question about children running farm
29:31 jh and if in the end it has to be sold, i won't be too sad... i hope we've achieved something and i think that the visitors that have visited us have gained a lot of enjoyment out of that ...
29:52 dd what do they smell like, what does a tas devil smell like?
30:00 jh you've asked the worst person on earth about that, i don't think they do smell blc we're accustomed to it ... i supose they're a bit pungent a bit like dogs ...they are carnivores
30:30 jh they're not dirty animals, they're really not dirty animals ... thought they have the rep of being filthy little rats but that's not the case at all***
30:44 dd they're teeth crunch into the bone, they swallow the bone, they swallow the sinew... teeth...hair of the animals 00that they eat how do they digest it all ...to but it delicately what comes out the other end ... ***
31:10 jh they don't digest it all, all of the time, sometimes they do and so the droppings of a tas devil will appear to be like that of many other's carnivores but sometimes the fur and indeed shards of bone--i've seen bone two inches long pass through a tas devil ...and if you look at the scats ...and as you can hear them eating you hear the crack crack crack*** they're quite extraordinary, it doesn't puncture or do any damage to their digestive system...
32:05 dd they're very aggressive toward one another ... like most scavengers ... constantly seem to to be biting each other, on muzzle, females biting on hind quarters for males on neck and face and some of them have deep wounds yet they don't get infected, how do you explain this?
32:54 jh (dr. eric guyler) it appears they have an extraordinary ability to heal, tas devils recover really very quickly and we rarely have to treat them--(very interesting)
when you look into a tas devil's hard bright eyes, do you like these creatures, do you love these creatures? ***
no, i don't love them, i'm intrigued by them but i don't love them--they're fascinating but not very loveable ... ***
END OF INT.
outside talking--off-mic ... looking at and talking about snakes
51:12 more and more snakes around where man is now simply because of what man hasact done--snakes normal food is frogs and over the last 5-6 yrs there's been this huge downturn in wild fgog pop b/c of the farmers and the likes of washing into water streams and the snakes have got to go somewhere to find food. (FROGS)
back in living room in John and Carolyn's house, voice over s for intro and the end. and some things in between.
john and caroline hamilton ...they have five children they live in a hundred year old house .. .
J and C Hamilton are a handsome urbane sub ... they have three dogs ...
55:48 dd j and c hamilton... ***56:17
this is the sound of a real tas devil not the cartoon character but the real thing*
58:36 dd This is the sound of a real tas devils**
59:08 dd this is the sound of a real tas devil ...description***
1:05:03 dd This is d doubilet i'm here in tas to look at ... ***
1:06:10 dd This is d d here in tas for npr, ng radio expeditions
tas devils seem to be constructed on an angle ...they run and walk on a hop and a waddle ...
1:16:34 dd these creatures have an extraordinary vocal range they also have an ex smell--its a dank must smell, a wet wool coat laying in a closet for a hundred years--the smell of ancient flesh
1:17:45 i'm d doubilet ... in search of the tas devil*** never says "society" brook, stream behind park which would have been in the background
when recording feeding of devils
1:20:05 nice ambi, babbling brook, echoing sound ( i think its part of the brook) motor at 1:20:55 passes quickly
1:23:34 motor motor 1:23:56
1:24:28 19 animals to be fed this time its the five females:
1:22:59 running animals, sniffing, breathing, snorting, running past 1:25:41***
feeding snapping, cracking 1:27:04 Very good***
1:27:26 more cracking
1:27:55 bird and tas barking
1:28:45 good snapping, cracking, eating bone
1:34:37 crunching on some bone.
1:38:05 snorting jh here come here! ... **
1:38:21 hissing, snorting, barking... ***
1:41:23 crunching*** fly buzzing occasional bark/growl
1:44:34 crunching and eating, flies buzzing ***very good***
1:46:48 rhythmic crunching, stomping sound with more flies?
1:47:22 dd stumpy is a battle scarred male, his ears are literally in tatters and shreds chewed on them by the other males he's the
smallest of the group of three he's called stampy because his tail has also been chewed on in the wild these animals as they are in captivity ev piece of meat ev piece of terr is fought over (motor in back) stumpy now has a ribcage of wallaby or what's left ...he's crunching up the bones ...stumpy is black but all over his rear quarters you can see scarring and like his ears they are a light pink ...describes animal last sniffing around for last piece of meat, but there is nothing left its as if a piece of wallaby has been erased. 1:48:48
END OF DAT