It was late one night when Manar, a severely injured adult female wombat, was brought to us. She had a fractured skull and jaw , severe concussion and dehydration.The rescuer had noticed her by the side of the road in the morning but thought that she was dead . On his way home in the afternoon he noticed that she made a slight movement and stopped and rescued her . She was barely alive. Thus began a long relationship with a dear, gentle but wild creature who one day found the call of the wild strong enough to leave our care and have a second chance at life.
For months Manar required hand feeding using a large bladder syringe. She was unable to chew food so we prepared a slurry of blended grass, pellets wombat formula and Nutrigel. Feeding was always a messy time, but Manar enjoyed her food. For a wombat that should have been almost 30kgs she only weighed 17kgs. She was content to sleep for long hours safe and cosy in a large bin. It was easy to fall asleep on the lounge chair with Manar asleep in your arms.
Over the months Manar had several operations and had an infected front tooth removed.After her tooth extraction she began putting on weight and became more animated in her behaviour. She developed a friendship with a rescued lamb and they spent hours playing together. She also enjoyed sleeping in a hollow log in the nursery wombat enclosure where she stayed during daylight hours. At night we let her out for a walk with a small flashing light attached to a collar. She still had some while to go in recovering from her head injury and was not yet in a position to be released although she was now eating well.
One night while out wandering around we lost sight of Manar which caused great concern. Although we searched high and low we could not see her flashing light. How pleased we were when a neighbour reported seeing a wombat walking down one of the rural roads in our vicinity. Manar was also very happy to be home again and spent the next 24 hours just sleeping.
Manar kept improving and we could tell by her digging and other behaviour that she was wanting to leave. We were not so confident that she had fully recovered and would have been happy for her to spend the rest of her days with us, but it was not to be and one day she managed to escape her nursery enclosure and was gone before we knew it. Again we thought neighbours would report seeing her and despite weeks of searching she seemed to have vanished. She had been with us 18 months.
We can only hope she is living a free and enjoyable life and perhaps, just maybe, we might see her one more time soon.She really was a very dear, gentle and loving creature and we still miss her greatly.
The rescue and rehabilitation of injured native animals is a team effort and Bertha the wombat has many people to thank. Bertha was injured near a major highway and then was seen scurrying down her burrow. First she had to be dug out of the burrow. When rescued, X-rays showed Bertha had fractured her pelvis in three places.
The prognosis however was good as wombats have very strong muscles in this area of their body which would support the fractures while they healed.While not happy to begin with in her new in-care environment Bertha eventually saw we were there to help her and a positive relationship evolved. Wombats can be quite vicious when they need to be, but Bertha quickly settled in with some gentle stroking and soothing talk.
While she was immobile she had a bed of straw at night to prevent pressure sores and during the day was taken outside to the grass so she could graze. Bertha was in our care for several months and was able to rest recover from her injuries and gain weight in a safe environment before being released in a safe place. As Bertha recovered she began to wander further afield . On one occasion when Steve picked her up to bring her back to the front yard she latched onto his hand – quite gently . Rosemary had to open her mouth to release Steve’s hand . She had no intention of hurting him . She just wanted to be put down and continue to eat grass! When she was fully recovered and had become a ‘Big ‘ Bertha again she was released near a stream on an organic fruit and nut farm.
Monga Goes Home
Monga the wombat was rescued near Mongarlowe. Weighing in at 34 kilograms the wild wombat, despite having a dislocated elbow and fractured wrist as a result of a motor vehicle accident, had no wish to be rescued and put up a real fight, which involved wrecking two nets, and bruising his rescuers.
However, unable to dig a burrow because of his injuries, Monga was vulnerable to predators such as marauding dogs. The veterinarian relocated the elbow and reduced and splinted the fracture .Initially Monga did not take kindly to his confined in-care surroundings, or to his splinted wrist, and he became depressed ,refused to eat and lost weight.The decision was made to syringe feed him.Initially Monga had to be held while he was syringe fed but he soon developed a liking for this tucker.It became one of Roemary’s great pleasures to syringe feed Monga then attempt to wipe his face without losing a finger and have a tug of war with him using the towel . Monga also loved this game and so the syringe feeding and tug of war continued long after Monga had regained his appetite for grass.As is the case with many injured wombats they thrive once they develop a trust of and bond with their carer.
Releasing a rehabilitated wild adult wombat is not an easy task, not least because they are wild and large. An ideal release site, where there is easy digging, a good water supply, other wombats, an existing unoccupied burrow, but no mange or dogs, is not easy to find. With the help of a wildlife-friendly landowner near where he was initially rescued, Monga was released. As he left his transport box and moved towards the hole he stopped, turned and looked back at us as if to say thank you and good bye.That moment is still vivid in our memory. It hard to say good bye to a friend. Monga has settled successfully and happily into his new home in beautiful ,safe bush near a clear, sparkling creek.
The snow lay lightly on the surrounding hills on a frosty July morning when the call for a wombat rescue came in. The prospects for a successful rescue did not seem good when told by the wildlife rescue line caller that the mother had been killed the night before. With overnight temperatures at minus six, there was little movement in the pouch. One very small pink arm lay dangling motionless outside the pouch in the freezing air.
The snow lay lightly on the surrounding hills on a frosty July morning when the call for a wombat rescue came in…
Continue reading Wilma’s Story
Not your typical wombat
Denton was never your typical wombat. Named because of the dental and other surgery to fix a fractured jaw when his mother was killed by a motor vehicle, he was happiest sleeping in a backpack.
Denton was never your typical wombat. Named because of the dental and other surgery to fix a fractured jaw when his mother was killed by a motor vehicle, he was happiest sleeping in a backpack. Initially this was alright but as he continued to grow this soon became impractical. ‘Attack’ was his mode of operation with anything that moved and several of us have the scars on our legs to prove it. He would get up on his hind legs and bring his teeth down into your flesh. He was impossible to outrun and he would knock our in-care kangaroo joeys over like nine pins given half a chance.
Continue reading Denton takes the Wheel