Australian state to give two Tasmanian devils to Danish zoo in honor of newborn prince

An Australian state will send a pair of Tasmanian devils to a Copenhagen zoo to mark the birth of Denmark's newest prince, the state's leader said Monday.

Denmark's Crown Princess Mary, 33, was born on Australia's southern island state of Tasmania and married Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik in Copenhagen last year after meeting him in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics. She gave birth to the couple's first child in the early hours of Saturday at Copenhagen University Hospital.

Tasmania state Premier Paul Lennon announced the gift on Monday, saying the devils' presence at the Copenhagen Zoo would symbolize the special link between the people of Tasmania and Denmark.

"We wanted to present the people of Denmark with something uniquely Tasmanian to celebrate the royal birth," he told reporters. "People around the world instantly associate the devils with Tasmania and I'm sure the Danes will be thrilled to have two living, breathing examples of the state's unofficial emblem living in their capital city," he said.

About the size of a small dog, the Tasmanian devil is the world's largest meat-eating marsupial and gets its name from its spine-chilling screeches, black color and reputed bad temper.

Warner Bros. used the fierce marsupial as the inspiration for its cartoon character Taz.

Lennon said Tasmania's gift would also include a christening spoon fashioned from crocoite, Tasmania's mineral emblem, and amber, commonly found in Denmark.

Meanwhile, the government of nearby Victoria state announced it would send a fully restored historic tram from the southern city of Melbourne as its gift to the royal family.

The tram will be accepted by Danish Consul-General Jorgen Mollegaard Kristensen before being shipped to Denmark for display in the Danish Tramways Museum near Copenhagen.

The princess grew up in Tasmania but worked briefly in Melbourne as an advertising executive in the 1990s, AP reported. V.A.

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