A Tasmanian has stolen my heart. I might have met him once, decades ago, in my own state; in fact I’m sure I saw him twice at my place. But now Tasmania is the only place we can meet.
At the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park they also have a small area for the other carnivorous marsupial indigenous to Tasmania, the Eastern Quoll. I knew they could be different colours, and for no particular reason of sex or age.
The first one I saw here was asleep, curled up like a cat in a white-spotted caramel coat. No spots on the tail — which is the easy differentiator from my Spotted-Tailed Quoll.
‘Cute’, I thought, but then I saw the other.
Small cat-sized, black and white, alert and cheeky, lustrous dark eyes, dainty and elegant all in one. I fall for it, I exclaim aloud, tell it how beautiful I find it.
I want to have one living at my place, despite my knowledge that it eats any nestlings or eggs, lizards, larvae or worms it comes across.
The wire mesh makes it hard to photograph it with justice, but they can’t be in an open pen like the Devils, as they are superb climbers. I wish I could take one on a visit to its bigger cousin at my place, but my resident Quoll would probably eat it rather than greet it.
Even seeing it scoffing a lump of some dead animal doesn’t put vegetarian me off; after all, I have had relationships with carnivores before.
I am still in love with the Eastern Quoll.