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Scientists put the Tasmanian devils through personality tests to make sure they can cope with the adventure that awaits them – and freedom for the first time – on remote Maria Island.
The second episode of Aussie Animal Island follows the devils to an isolation centre in Hobart where scientists from the Save the Tasmanian Devil team assesses their behaviour.
To survive in the wild, the devils must shy away from human contact but remain curious about their surrounds.
First up is Reba. To earn her spot in the Maria Island squad she must avoid the food hidden under a beach ball, a test designed to determine whether she’ll avoid human temptations on the island. Reba passes the test but, to prevent inbreeding, brother Ruben misses out. The devils are released into a large enclosure where a hierarchy emerges as Big Jimmy hogs the food and hapless Manny goes without.
Once training is complete, the scientists put the devils through final health checks and fit five lucky recipients with GPS collars so they can track their every move. Then comes the moment they have waited for – the culmination of three years of planning and hard work – as the scientists load the boat and set off for Maria Island to release the devils into the wild.
For Reba – who spent most of her young life snoozing in a laundry basket – and many others like her, life will never be the same.