Those poor little devils are dying of cancer. Apparently it is transmitted to others probably through biting (they are ferocious) and it can kill them in about a year’s time. Authorities are trying to breed them in captivity to save the species.
I went to visit one of these sites and was quite impressed with their efforts. Fortunately, I was also able to see kangaroos, wallabies and various native birds.
The history of Tasmania includes many stories of prisoners sent from the UK who proceeded to modernize the country with bridges, buildings and towns. Of particular interest was Port Arthur, a World Heritage site. It supposedly was inescapable, much like Alcatraz, and was called a model prison with convicts as young as 9 years old. However, in spite of the school and work opportunities it was known to be extremely harsh. Remains of many of the buildings remain as well as the graveyard on a separate island.
The landscapes of Tasmania are beautiful with many hiking treks and touristy spots including chocolate and cheese stores, wineries and many handicrafts.