Wombats

Wombats are some of the cutest animals on earth. Luckily if you’re in Australia, you have the chance to see them either in the wild or at one of the parks around the country. They are small but sturdy and only 1 metre in length! They are part of the marsupial family, just like the kangaroo and come equipped with a pouch in the front of their belly. Wombats are primarily found in Tasmania and all around Australia. But if you want a guaranteed visit with one of these little creatures, check them out at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. There you can pet them and feed them! Who doesn’t want to do that?

The beginning days of wombats in Australia were not the best. When aboriginal communities needed food, wombats were one of the animals they would hunt. Considered to be of no worth to aborigines, wombats were eaten regularly. They were even considered vermin in the early 1900’s and a bounty was made to get rid of the animal. This has substantially changed the population of the wombat even to this day. Now they are protected in each state except for Victoria and are rarely found in the wild.

The wombat loves to dig. They have huge claws that allow them to burrow quickly. They also have a fantastic characteristic to their fur; their pouch is placed backwards! Because they burrow in the dirt so much, they have adapted to have it facing backwards. It helps them keep clean too and if they have young, it keeps them from being buried by dirt. Wombats only give birth once in the spring and the little baby lives in their pouch up to seven months. They give birth after 21 days, which to a human is very quick!

They are also herbivores, only eating plants. They are actually considered lazy, fat, and slow by Australians and are not highly regarded like the koala or kangaroo. This may be because they barely have a metabolism and it takes anywhere from eight to 14 days to digest one meal. One of the biggest reasons for their slow digestion is because their body stores food in case of cold temperatures where there may be no food at all. It’s almost like a bear hibernating for winter. But the wombat does it all the time.

A word of warning to you thrill seekers; if you find a wombat in the wild and it feels threatened be careful. They can actually run up to 25mph and are not afraid to bite! Don’t let their cuddly features fool you!

Meet this Cuddly Aussie Critter at Featherdale Wildlife Park on our Blue Mountains Deluxe Tour.