Friday 9 October, 2020

Tassie devils head north; raccoons invade the White House; Netball star says bye bye; and it’s World Egg Day!



Tassie Devil release:

Raccoon invasion:

What’s Up Fox?:





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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






It’s taken 3,000 years for them to make the journey back to where they started from, but Tassie devils have made their triumphant return to the Aussie mainland.

Eleven Tasmanian devils have been released into a sanctuary in the Barrington Tops National Park, about 200 kilometres north of Sydney – as part of an effort to conserve the species.

Scientists reckon Tasmanian Devils used to live on the Australian mainland back when it was connected to Tasmania – but those that didn’t migrate across to the Apple Isle before the two land masses separated became extinct some 3,000 years ago. 

Rangers have released the eleven devils into NSW bushland in the hope a new population of mainland devils will thrive there.

Devil numbers in Tasmania have been hit by a nasty mouth disease that can be fatal – meaning it can kill them.

These disease-free devils – it is hoped – will have lots of devil babies and grow in numbers. Conservationists believe the devils – who are excellent predators – can be really useful to keep down numbers of feral foxes and cats – which are a huge problem across the country – and hence play a really important role helping small, native mammal populations to recover.

There’s a link to an awesome video of the devils being released in today’s episode notes … 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Washington DC – which is the capital of the United States of America — where a four-footed devil of another variety has invaded the White House.

The White House is where the American president lives. And over the past few months, staff and reporters who work there have been harassed by a pesky band of raccoons who are getting bolder by the day. 

Dogs have been sent to chase them off, security guards chase them through the grounds at night and traps have even been laid to try to capture the raccoons and relocate them. 

But they just won’t go away. Last week, a TV news reporter had one run up his leg while he was in the middle of doing a live report. And yesterday, it happened to him again. That’s just nuts! Get it?

There’s a link in today’s episode notes – because i know you want to see it.




She’s one of the most popular players in the Super Netball – and captain of the Australian national team the Diamonds to boot – but Caitlin Bassett is moving to New Zealand.

The highly-respected player – who this year played goal shooter for the GWS Giants and has a career average shooting accuracy of an incredible 90% – yesterday announced she had signed with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

Explaining her decision yesterday, Bassett said she wasn’t getting enough court time with the Giants after a rule change that rewards long shots at goal rather than Bassett’s specialty of shooting under the net – and had started to feel frustrated. 

She will still play for Australia though, and said she looked forward to being a part of the Australian Commonwealth Games team in 2022.




In this segment, we celebrate record breakers and amazing feats .. and today, we offer up a Squiz Kids salute to Ugandan long-distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei – who yesterday broke the world record for the 10,000 metres race – and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who smashed the world record in the women’s 5000 metres at a race meet in Spain. 

Joshua ran the men’s ten kilometre race in just over 26 minutes and eleven seconds … a whole six seconds faster than the previous world record. While Letesenbet shaved four seconds off the world record in women’s 5km race – completing it in just over 14 minutes.

Five kilometres in 14 minutes … gosh … that’s sometimes how long it takes me to get off the couch.




Don’t forget sports fans … Aussie women’s cricketing sensation, Annabel Sutherland has agreed to do a Squiz Kids Q+A next week – answering any questions you want to put to her. 

After the Aussie women’s cricket team’s stunning victory over New Zealand in the one day series in Brisbane – you all no doubt have plenty to ask her about how she came to play for Australia – and what sort of pratice it requires.

The deadline for questions is next Monday – so get cracking and send your questions to [email protected]




Every Friday we check in with Squiz Kids ambassador Flynn, known as The Fox to his friends, to see what he’s been listening to, reading and watching.

On the book front this week, he’s had his head buried in … author Garth Nix’s excellent thriller, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London. It’s a real page turner.

As for listening, it’s been all about Jubel’s ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ .. it’s a   dead-cool cover version of a hit that your parents will know..

And on the watching front: the YouTube stars Corridor Crew with their Stop Motion Parkour video. It’s very clever. 

As ever: there are links to all of these cool things in today’s episode notes




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What sort of animals have just made a triumphant return to the Aussie mainland?
  2. What sort of animals have invaded the White House in America?
  3. Name the Aussie netball superstar who has decided to play in New Zealand? 




It’s October 9 ….. World Egg Day … and I am not even kidding. It’s a day where people from nations all over the world celebrate the humble egg. It’s been organised by the International Egg Commission .. which is an actual thing. And yes, that is easily the best thing I have learned all week… 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

Max from Clothiers Creek, Hudson from Melbourne, Orin from Sydney, Darcy from Skye, Ollie from Blackman’s Bay, Iris from Brunswick West, Metara from Redlynch, Lachlan from Aspley, Ryan from Auchenflower, and Maggie from Geelong. 

And as we work through the birthdays we missed last week while on holidays and give a shout out to kids celebrating a birthday over this coming weekend – let’s crank up the Friday birthday shout out reggae groove … Today’s belated birthday shoutouts go to… Matilda from the Gold Coast, Christian and Francis from Brunswick West, Chelsea from Balgownie, Kai and Hannah from Sydney, Ben and Joe from Port Macquarie, Olivia and Dominic from Brisbane, Cooper from Marcoola, Emilia from Melbourne, Poppy from Gunning, CJ from Fennell Bay, Coco from Mermaid Beach, Samuel from Redlynch, Noah from Canberra, Spencer from Ipswich, Tilly from Palm Beach, Deakin from Townsville.

And, not forgetting of course, those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday this coming weekend … Sophie from Cromer, Amber from Melbourne, Grace from Balgownie, Fitzroy from Bundora, Isabel from Redlynch, Anoushka, Willow and Jemima from Sydney, Alyssa from Abbotsford, Samantha from Carlingford, Ayla from Freshwater, Edith from Reservoir, Alexander from Pitt Town, Jasper from Mitcham, Annie from Bethanga, and Heath from Kingston. 

Happy birthday one and all!

  The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Tasmanian devils
  2. Raccoons
  3. Caitlin Bassett