Wombats are really cool little marsupials which are only found in Australia. These guys live in burrows and have strong claws for digging. Their pouch faces backwards so that soil doesn’t collect and cover the young wombats as they are burrowing around.
Funnily they use their backsides to defend themselves! Their skin is hardened so that it is hard for predators like dingoes to bite in to it. When threatened the Wombat will dive down his nearest burrow and block it with his bum!
There are only three species of Wombat and each one is only found in a few selected regions of Australia. The Common Wombat is, as its name quite rightly suggests, the most abundant of all the Wombats and is found on the eastern edges of New South Wales, Victoria and all over Tasmania. The Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat only exists in a very remote pocket of Epping Forest Scientific National Park in central Queensland. This is one of the most endangered animals and the rarest marsupial on earth with only 115 remaining in the wild park. The close cousin, the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat, is located in the South Australia territory and is also critically endangered.
These burrowing herbivores love a little dig. These mammals dig quite eccentric housing structures with intricate tunnels leading to underground chambers beneath the grasslands and eucalyptus forests of southern Australia. They have really strong sharp teeth and claws which they use to dig furiously in the dirt. Wombats are fairly solitary animals, although on some occasions have been known to socialize in small colonies. The strong legs of the Wombat come in handy when under threat. Even though they look like innocent cuddly creatures, they can sprint at about 40 kph for a short while and use their back legs to kick out at dingoes or Tasmanian devils who try to attack. Wombats don’t show fear for humans so they often charge at us and because they are fairly powerful and weigh up to 35 kilos.
If you like tracking animals then tracking a Wombat might excite you. Strangely they have poo-poo that is the shape of a cube. Don’t put it in your coffee or eat it though because I don’t think it will taste too good. Alternatively you can just enjoy supporting all the world’s Wombats by celebrating Wombat day on 22nd October every year.
Check out some more photos of our fine marsupial friends on Flickr