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Published January 31st 2020
Meet the devil and his keeper
There's something very engaging about grumpy creatures and some of the grumpiest around were the main reason for our visit to Wing's Wildlife Park. At the request of some of the youngest members of the interstate family, we were instructed to obtain "photos of devils". Not being David Attenborough we figured the best chance of meeting and photographing some devils would be a wildlife sanctuary. So we headed off to Wing's Wildlife Park for what turned out to be a truly wondrous day.
The Park is located on Gunns Plains, around 45km from Devonport or 25km from Ulverstone. It's better to plan for a day trip rather than a few hours as the scenery along the way is beautiful and there's a bit to see at the park especially if you take a guided tour and/or an animal encounter. You can also stay over as they have options from accommodation units through to powered sites and campsites.
In the entrance is a tempting spread of photos of the personal wildlife encounters on offer should you like to get up close to a devil, meerkats, wombats, koalas, marmosets or reptiles. The baby devil option proved irresistible and being available immediately we headed to the encounters area to meet our devil and his keeper. There we were able to nurse a boy baby devil and it was amazing. His keeper provided a wealth of information on the devils' lifecycle and lifestyle. This encounter was the absolute highlight of the day and the knowledge, respect and affection shown by the keeper for his charge was truly impressive, in fact, all the staff just bubbled over with enthusiasm for their work.
After our devil encounter, we set out to explore the rest of the park. There's a gentle farm walk with a range of creatures from emus and ostriches to cows, swans, horses and more. Inside the entrance hall, there's also a display of snakes and lizards, a fish pond and a host of other creatures including guinea pigs.
The main displays across the bridge include several sets of devils, kangaroos, monkeys, koalas, meerkats, birds of prey display and multiple other animals and birds. Here's a list so you can get an idea. There are specific times where keepers give presentations on the various animals and you can purchase food to feed the fish and the kangaroos.
You can bring a picnic or stop in at the cafe which offers meals, drinks and snacks. A souvenir shop features a range of wildlife-themed toys and other mementoes should you wish to treat yourself or take a gift home for someone else.
The park is family-owned and operated and they are doing good work whilst also providing a fun and enlightening experience for visitors from around the world. The majority of the animals are rescues and visitors are encouraged to ask any and every question they might have about their care.
Our wildlife needs all the help it can get and educating the public about our awesome fauna can make a difference in how much people care about their habitat and survival. Certainly, I came away with a strong desire to contribute in particular to the devils' continued existence - this ferociously bad-tempered yet somehow universally enchanting species.
Overall a big thumbs up. Highly recommend a visit to Wing's whether you're a local or a traveller. The experience was way beyond my expectations and one I will remember for a long time. See their FB page for the most recent photos.