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Tasmania Main

December 5, 2006
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Sympathy for the Devil On any journey, there’s always one moment where the place I’ve traveled to scrubs off its makeup and shows me its true face. Here in Tasmania, this moment comes late on a Wednesday night in a rustic beach shack on the island’s northwest coast. I’m here, of course, to see a devil.

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For centuries, the Tasmanian devil has been emblematic of this island. Named by the aboriginals, the shy, nocturnal marsupial, which doesn’t appear on the Australian mainland, was once found in every part of “Tassie.” During the past 10 years, though, cancer has cut the population by more than half. On November 22, 2007, the devil was listed as an endangered species. A week after that news, I arrive. My long-anticipated trip to Tasmania started out as a simple exploration of what Australians consider a sort of Lost World, down under Down Under. But now I’m centered on a goal: to find a devil alive in the wild. Read the full story.

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By Jeff Greenwald Photos by Matthieu Paley From the June 2008 issue of Islands

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