(7-2-22) The Columbus Zoo announced the loss recently of ‘Sprout’ a Tasmanian Devil.

Along with the many births and successes we celebrate, there are also times we mourn losses within our Zoo family. Today, we are sad to share that beloved Tasmanian devil, Sprout, passed away on June 27, 2022.

Sprout suddenly showed an increased respiratory rate, abdominal contractions, and weakness. Our Animal Health team anesthetized Sprout and during the exam, they discovered that Sprout had an abnormal heart rhythm, called AV block, which prevents the electrical signals from conducting normally through the tissues. This condition has been identified in other Tasmanian devils, but the cause is unknown. Our Animal Health team immediately consulted with several specialists and scheduled Sprout for an emergency pacemaker placement. Unfortunately, Sprout never fully regained consciousness and went into cardiac arrest.

Sprout was born on April 26, 2018, in Tasmania. (Tasmanian devils are only found in Tasmania, an island state of Australia.) At 4 years old, he was considered to be a geriatric animal. Typically, Tasmanian devils live for about 5 or 6 years. Sprout, his twin sister, Thyme, and Mustard (unrelated to the siblings) arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) in May 2019. The STDP program was created by the Tasmanian government to fight the threat of extinction of the Tasmanian devil due to the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). DFTD is a fatal condition in Tasmanian devils characterized by the appearance of obvious facial tumors and is highly contagious among Tasmanian devil populations. STDP’s Ambassador Program places suitable Tasmanian devils in zoos as ambassadors for the species.

While at the Columbus Zoo, Sprout loved the pool in his habitat and would often splash water around and swish his tail back and forth. His care team fondly remembers him as a sweet and gentle devil who had a great relationship with them. Whenever one of Sprout’s keepers would walk into his room to say good morning, he would “arf” back at them. Sprout loved sunning and sniffing out his favorite snacks, and he was notorious for looking at his care team with his little fangs hanging out of his smile.

The zoo welcomes you to share your favorite memories of Sprout with them. Please keep our Australia and the Islands care team in your thoughts.