Friday, August 28, 2015

Wombats

Young wombats can be very cute, mischievous but untrainable. They are almost manageable as pets until they start to get big. They are incredibly strong too and love to butt at things with their head. Cars take their toll on them though, with often enough the car coming off very badly as they go under the car and can cause great damage if hit at speed. As tough as they are, they don't have much of a chance if hit by a car at speed.

One species at least is also suffering a terrible mange disease that if untreated, will eventually kill each wombat. The mange is spread by mites.

Wombats are marsupials and build large underground burrows for shelter and breeding. The pouch for their young faces backwards so as to not fill will soil when they are digging. They are disliked by farmers as not only do they eat grass, livestock can break legs when a burrow collapses under their weight and it can be dangerous to a farmer if a farm vehicle lands a wheel in a burrow entrance.

To dig such burrows and they have very strong and powerful claws, as you can see in this rather cute video. Length: 2.16




25 comments:

  1. Do you get many wombats in Melbourne Andrew? ;-p
    The wombats we have up here are a different variety to yours down there. I didn't know about the disease ~ will do some more reading on that one.

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    1. Carol, err, no. Not seen one here but we used to see them on the farm when I was a kid and a neighbour reared an orphan one. It was very funny. Apparently there are three species and then further sub species. Your species is the one with the tan and sweaty arm pits.

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  2. They are cute. I can attest to their digging prowess too. Many years ago I landed in a hole they had dug while I was at a friend's farm. Words were said.

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    1. EC, yes they are excellent diggers. Maybe it is a bit of a rural myth about the burrows collapsing and livestock breaking legs. I have a fine mental image of you bum down in a wombat hole.

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  3. They look very cuddly!

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    1. Marie, they seem to like a tickle and scratch.

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  4. Andrew, they are lovely. Biut we don't have them in Europe

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    1. Gosia, you have other animals to dig holes, like moles.

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  5. To quote my daughter, after we watched the vid: "He's killed me; killed me with the cute!"

    Not that she's dramatic or anything. ;-)

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    1. Haha Jac. I should add they can be quite savage too when untamed.

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    2. So can't we all be Andrew. ;-)

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  6. The only one I remember is the one the doctor had on A Country Practice many years ago.
    We have one at our local zoo gardens at Auburn but I have never seen him, just a sign to say he is there somewhere, he must be shy.
    Merle........

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    1. Merle, was it called Fatso? I seem to remember a wombat by that name on tv.

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  7. I love animals with big, strong legs that do not scurry around eg a horse, a big dog, a kangaroo

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    1. Hels, you are worried about them sneaking up on you, so you want them big and you can see them coming.

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  8. On that was cute Andrew, I've not ever thought of wombats as pets before. I kept expecting the guy's bare toes to get a bite or scratch :)

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    1. Grace, his feet did not seem to be marked, so perhaps they aren't really that sharp. It surprised me that there weren't marks.

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  9. Lordy would you look at those claws, says she whose fingernails break if she so much as thinks about growing them.
    It's a shame such a cute animal can be so destructive, and a shame they're getting diseases from mites.

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    1. River, they don't have much in the way of natural predators, only dingoes really, and they have defences against dingoes. We grow grass and their numbers increase. Growing grass causes lots of explosions in populations.

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  10. Ballarat Wildlife Park has a huge wombat named Patrick who just turned 30 and is on Tindr looking for a wombatess.

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    1. Saw that Ann, and had a good laugh.

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  11. I saw the report on the TV about the wombats...not good. Have seen a few up at Cradle Mountain several years ago...they are really quite big..

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    1. Margaret, yes they are quite large when adults. I think yours are different to the ones we have here.

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  12. They look so fun, like a cross between a bear, a koala bear and a mole.

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    1. Strayer, that is such a good description.

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