Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday Fave: Wombats!

This is my wombat. Her name is Anabelle.
I knit a tutu for her because she was cold when we visited Canada.

Lovely readers, when I touched down in Sydney two and a half years ago, I had no idea that I was going to meet my most favorite animal yet. I was well aware that Aus = land of things that can kill you (think snakes and jellyfish and sharks and crocs and a whole lot more snakes and a teeny little octopus that's the most poisonous thing in the world), but I did not know there would be a fuzzy fellow who would capture my heart so very hard.

When I had settled in Canberra and made a few buddies, two of those buddies ( <3 to Adam and Vanessa Taylor!) took us out to see friends of their family who ran an animal rescue operation out of their home. This volunteer animal carer couple would get calls from drivers who had hit a wombat, or a variety of other fauna, and then they would go to the scene, assess the animal and do their best to care for the injured animal, or, in many cases, the baby left behind.

The point of all of this is that lovely friends Adam and Vanessa told us to get ready because they were on their way to take us two Canadian kids (PIC and I) to meet a wombat. This sounded neat, but I didn't actually really know what a wombat was.

I found out! 

Her name was Button. She was a 'teenaged' wombat, and she was about to be weaned off human contact in preparation to be released back into the wild. I got there just in time!

Why I LOVE Wombats:

  • They're kind of grumpy, but in a sweet way. 
  • I like their tails, of which you will hear more below 
  • It's funny when they try to eat your shoelaces just because the shoelaces are there and why not, but of course you don't let them because that would hurt their tummy
  • THIS IS THE BEST ONE: If you were to touch a wombat's lower back, like right near its bum, you will feel a steel-like shield of super thick skin. That's because when a wombat senses an intruder, such as a dingo, coming into its burrow, it waits for its assailant to get really close, and then bum-butts the head of the attacking animal: effectively crushing its attacker's head with its bum! SERIOUSLY!
  • Male wombats have a heart shaped scrotum. No lie. See below.

    P.I.C. loves wombats, too, although he loves echidnas more. He's cuddling Spike.

As if introducing me to my most favorite animal in the world wasn't enough, those Aussie buddies proceeded to send me a calendar of the fuzzy fellows a year later! The calendar is published by Native Animal Rescue Group, the proceeds go towards assisting the volunteer wildlife carers, and it seems like you can get your own handy dandy calendar here. (Also, you should probably click on that link because their site has SO MANY wonderful wombat pictures!)

Our cover model is "Cinders", and the lovely
lady to the right is named "Osh"

Best of the wombat fun facts from this delightful date-tracker: 
  • "Wombats have a cute little tail, but it's not easy to see!"
  • "Wombats claws are built for digging. No wonder they are called 'bulldozers of the bush.'"
  • "A wombat's nose pattern is as individual as a fingerprint." 
  • "A wombat can scratch every part of its body, and does so often!"

If human babies were this cute, I'd probably be a little more into that idea.

Do Tell:
Lovely readers, have you ever met a wombat? If so, were they grumpy or sociable? Did they seem to think your shoelaces looked delicious!?

If you haven't had the chance to meet a wombat personally, have I at least succeeded in convincing you that they're basically the best animal in the world ever?

If your answer is "Yes!", you are officially invited to like my Facebook page!
If no, then, um, maybe next time. (Just kidding - come one, come all!)

Button + Spike = I love.

xx Lady Expatriate