Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Is a wombat a docile animal?

from w
I've always thought that the little fat Australian animal, the wombat, was a docile animal and when I took photos of a baby wombat at Jirralinga, Barwon Heads, thought it a cuddly creature. However, things have changed. A man was viciously attacked by a wombat this week in Flowerdale,(where one of the bushfires was last year) as he stepped out of his caravan. Why was the wombat angry? It's been suggested that the man stood on him, or the wombat was defending his territory, or had a mental problem! When I talked with our son about it (he worked at a wildlife sanctuary recently) he said one of the workers there told him, that wombats do bite. One of the pictures here is from a book 'Death of a Wombat' illustrated by the artist Clifton Pugh. The story of course has no relationship to the story of this week where the poor old wombat got the axe.

Here's one version of the story:
Australian man mauled in rare attack by wombat
Wed Apr 7, 2010 11:30am IST Reuters.
A stocky Australian wombat, a marsupial that usually uses its backside as its best defence, came off second best after viciously mauling a man in a rare attack on a human. The 59-year-old man from rural Victoria state killed the bare nosed wombat with an axe after it mauled him on Tuesday.

"Yes he was attacked by a wombat," an ambulance spokesman said on Wednesday. "He suffered a number of cuts and bite marks and was treated by a couple of paramedics and taken to the northern hospital."

The bare nosed wombat weights from 20 to 40 kilograms and is about one metre (39 inches) in length. They have very short legs and a large muscular body but are not known for attacking humans.

Best-selling author Jackie French also helped turn the native Australian animal into a creature beloved by children in her classic "Diary of A Wombat".

"I really think it's been a hand raised wombat that has been released and doesn't like people as it's very common for wombats in captivity to not like people," said Brigitte Stevens, director of Wombat Awareness a Rescue Unit in South Australia.

The unit has cared for more than 700 wombats in the last two years and staff have never been bitten by a wild wombat. It's absolutely rare for a wombat like that to attack, she said.

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Blogger annie said...

I might want to bite if someone stuck me in a zoo, now that I think on it, Wendy. It surprises me that any animal takes to the confined kind of zoos.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
I don't like animals or birds being cooped up in cages or zoo enclosures. The wombat that bit the man however was just in the bush near the man's caravan. The photos I took at Jirralinga were of a baby wombat so he/she was docile. Jirralinga is a wildlife rescue place but they keep the animals and birds longer than necessary.

2:27 PM  

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