Chris Hemsworth and his wife, actress Elsa Pataky helped Tasmanian devils return to the Australian mainland in 2020 after 3,000 years away
One of eleven endangered Tasmanian devils released into the Australian wild in 2020 is a mom!
Their efforts were part of a collaborative project between Aussie Ark, Re:wild, WildArk, and the Australian Reptile Park, that began after the Tasmanian devil population vanished entirely from mainland Australia.
Before Hemsworth and Pataky reintroduced the little marsupials to Australia, the last time a Tasmanian devil set a paw on Australia's mainland had been over 3,000 years ago. Since their reintroduction, the 11 animals have been monitored through regular surveys, radio collars fitted with transmitters, and camera traps.
Aussie Ark discovered Lisa's joeys through one of their routine health examinations.
Aussie Ark managing director Tim Faulkner explained in a news release: "We were in the middle of routine devil health checks when we were overjoyed to discover Lisa had joeys."
"This is the very first confirmed devil joeys of 2023, and proof yet again that our breeding program and rewilding program is working," he added.
"This is a great example of how returning a species to its wild home can rewild the entire ecosystem," Janice Chanson, a Re:wild senior associate of species conservation, shared in a statement. "This is particularly important in combatting climate change and biodiversity loss and in improving the overall health of our planet."
After the discovery, initial pouch checks showed that Lisa's joeys appeared in excellent health. Aussie Ark rangers are expected to continue monitoring Lisa through camera traps and will conduct follow-up pouch checks in the coming weeks.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
The birth gives wildlife conservationists hope for the endangered species; 45 Tasmanian devil joeys are expected to be born in the wild sanctuary this year. The creatures, mainly found in Tasmania, could help control feral cat and fox populations in Australia that threaten other endangered and endemic species.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.