Barely the size of an avocado, this Tasmanian devil joey is beginning to explore his home at the Ballarat Wildlife Park on his own four paws.
He and his two brothers were born about five months ago, the offspring of Devina - who was herself born at the park two years ago - and Avery, who was drafted in last year to be her breeding partner.
The three joeys were around the size of a grain of rice when they were born, but are becoming increasingly mobile.
Devina, a first-time mother, remains fiercely protective of her sons, but they are occasionally seen wandering the enclosure independently or clinging to their mother's back.
The wildlife park has a long history of breeding Tasmanian devils and was the first place in Victoria to breed joeys in captivity more than 30 years ago.
The animals only exist in the wild in Tasmania where their long-term future looks increasingly fragile as a result of habitat loss and the contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
The species is thought to have disappeared on mainland Australia around 400 years ago, possibly due to competition with dingos.
Tasmanian devils are currently classified as endangered, with numbers having fallen by as much as 95 per cent in some areas in recent years.
Captive breeding programs such as the one at the popular wildlife park will help ensure the animal will never become extinct.
The three young brothers do not yet have names.
Tasmanian devils are fed daily at the park at 3.30pm, when visitors can find out more about the animal - the world's largest living carnivorous marsupial - and conservation efforts to protect it.
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