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Tasmanian devils feast on stolen meat

March 23, 2013 at 12:54 AM

HOBART, Australia, March 23 (UPI) -- Tasmanian devils at Australian wildlife sanctuaries Friday were fed meat that had been held as evidence of supermarket theft.

Detective Senior Constable Katrina Lane got permission to give the stolen meat to the devils, The (Hobart) Mercury reported. She said the meat, including ham, steak and other pricey cuts, was "wholly enjoyed and wolfed down" by the dog-sized marsupials at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and other refuges.

Lane, an animal lover, went to Bonorong to watch the devils eating.

"The meat, valued at $2,600, was stolen from various supermarkets around Hobart," she said. "It was later seized as evidence and kept in cold storage."

The devil, the largest surviving marsupial carnivore, was once common around Australia. The only surviving wild population is found in Tasmania, the island state south of Victoria, and the devils were classified as endangered in 2009.

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