Tasmanian devils, a gift to baby prince, have arrived in Denmark

A pair of Tasmanian devils given as a christening gift to Denmark's newest prince have arrived safe and sound, a spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo said Thursday.

The small carnivorous animals were given by the state government of Tasmania, the Australian home state of Denmark's Crown Princess Mary, who gave birth to Prince Christian on Oct. 15.

The black, fox-sized scavengers with a bloodcurdling growl arrived Monday and will be housed in a new specially-built facility in a section of the zoo that has other animals from Australia, including kangaroos and emus.

"Right now they are in quarantine so we can see how they adapt and do medical checks," zoo spokesman Peter Noerresoe Haase said. "They are doing really fine."

The gift has raised some controversy in Australia, where a lawmaker advised against sending the marsupials to Denmark because of an ailment called devil facial tumor disease that is ravaging them in the wild.

The Tasmanian Environment Department played down the concerns, saying the disease had never surfaced within the captive populations of the species. The gift has not stirred any protests in Denmark.

On Monday, Mary and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, will attend a ceremony during which the animals will officially be handed over to the Copenhagen Zoo, the AP says.

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