Hollywood gets the call
Don Stephens photograph
Movie studio Warner Bros, which earned million of dollars from its Tasmanian devil cartoon character “Taz,” has now been asked to help save his real-life cousins that are being decimated by facial cancer.
Tasmanian devils on Australia’s southern island state of Tasmania, the only place where these carnivorous marsupials are found in the wild, are being wiped out, with grossly disfigured animals dying within months of contracting the disease.
Environmentalists have approached the Hollywood studio to help raise funds to battle the disease, which has probably killed between a third and a half of the Tasmanian devil population in the past five to 10 years. Only about 70,000 to 80,000 remain.
“We are in discussions with the folks in Tasmania to see what we might be able to do to help,” Warner Bros spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti told Reuters.
Tasmanian wildlife biologist Nick Mooney fears there is little that can be done to stop the spread of the cancer.
“It is likely that in another five years that 80 percent or more of the state population or more will have been affected and there is probably nothing we can do about that,” he said.
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