Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Interview River Devil

Michael Gay had a chance close encounter with a wild Tassie Devil in broad daylight near the Interview River, Micheal details his experience here...

Photo: Michael Gay

After walking into the Interview River on Friday we had a good nights sleep and set out the next morning to explore the massive sand dune system north of the Interview River.

Shortly after crossing the Interview River I made a detour up an unnamed creek for a look while the other members of my party continued on along the coast.

Photo: Michael Gay

I had just come back out to the beach when I saw a devil cantering along the beach and up the creek bed, I quickly changed my lens and then took off trying to stalk it for some photos however, it was too open with no cover and it quickly spotted me and headed for the scrub around the creek. 

I sat and waited 15-20mins to see if it'd pop back out and continue on up the creek bed but unfortunately it didn't so I continued on my way north exploring the many wonderful natural and cultural features of the sand dune system.  

Photo: Michael Gay

Later that afternoon I decided to have a short break to set up a timelapse from a small set of grassed dunes near the beach and have a bite to eat.  The timelapse had been running for about 15mins when this same devil (the marking, or lack thereof appeared to be the same) came trotting down out of the steep sand dunes through a narrow little valley in front of me about 40m away, it made a bee line straight to a dead penguin, grabbed it and dragged it up to a small rocky outcrop about 60m away where I couldn't see it.

Photo: Michael Gay

So I quickly stopped the timelapse and changed lenses again then headed over to the rocky outcrop, I climbed my way up slowly and carefully to ensure I didn't make any noise and inched my head up over the edge to see the devil about 10m from me eating it's prize.

Photo: Michael Gay

Luckily it's back was to me initially and the wind was blowing just right so I was able to inch my way closer taking photos as I went.

At some point I think it heard a slight movement from me, it spun around towards me and gave a little growl, I froze hoping it would think I was just part of the rocky outcrop. 

Photo: Michael Gay

Meanwhile the rest of my walking party was returning along the beach watching me do some strange crouching moves probably wondering what was going on, at that point the devil got a whiff of them on the breeze, quickly grabbed his prize and proceeded to drag it up a very steep part of the dunes to some scrub some 200-300m away.     

Michael Gay


Photo: Michael Gay

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