KEEPERS at Devil Ark in the Barrington Tops are feeling lucky with the discovery of a tiny male joey, born months outside of the normal breeding period.
The extraordinary find was made in late December while keepers were performing a routine health check on the devil’s mother.
A joey is usually only found in the pouch until October, so the joey has been named ‘Lucky’.
“Lucky is a great little ambassador for Devil Ark and also his endangered species, under threat of extinction from Devil Facial Tumour Disease,” general manager Tim Faulkner said.
Devil Ark is in the midst of its fourth breeding season, which runs from February to June each year.
Up to four joeys remain in the pouch for around four months.
It is thought that Lucky’s mother, Kira had a joey in her first breeding cycle last February and mated again in October which is four months after the breeding season ends.
“This is a first at Devil Ark. It’s highly unusual for this mating and birth to take place so far out of breeding season,” Mr Faulkner said.
“Lucky’s a feisty little bloke and he’s doing well, drinking formula and putting on weight.”
There are positive signs for a successful 2014 breeding season at Devil Ark, with females showing signs of mating and males guarding dens.
Pouch checks will be undertaken in June and final breeding numbers will be determined late this year.
Devil Ark has just launched Feed a Devil Day which sees schools and corporate workplaces raising money for Devil Ark in June.
It costs $2 a day to feed a devil at Devil Ark and there are almost 200 at Devil Ark.