Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, was both delighted and surprised to learn that the Australian Reptile Park had named a Tasmanian devil joey in her honour.
Park General Manager, Tim Faulkner, made the announcement when Wicks was invited to officially open the new state-of-the-art Komodo dragon enclosure at the park, as a way of saying thank you for her support.
Having a Tasmanian devil named in a person’s honour is worth around $2,000, so the gift needed to be declared to the Register of Members’ Interests, one of the more unusual declarations in recent times.
“I’ve never had to declare having a Tasmanian devil named after me, it was certainly one of the more unusual experiences of being the local Member of Parliament,” Wicks said.
While the actual Lucy Wicks Tassie devil now resides at Barrington Tops, where the Devils Ark conservation project is helping to save the mammals from extinction, Wicks did get to meet Dash, another joey at the Park.
“To hold a Tasmanian devil was just an extraordinary experience, even if it was a somewhat heart-in-my-mouth experience.
“After you cuddle one, you discover how beautiful they are, and the fact that they are quite affectionate,” she said.
“I am always impressed with the work that is done at the Reptile Park, right here in our own backyard.
“The Park has gone from strength to strength, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the region, around 250,000 last year, while carrying out some amazing conservation projects,” Wicks added.
Media release, Feb 11
Charlotte Bowcock, Office of Lucy Wicks MP