Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hugging wombats at Caversham Wildlife Park

So, I promised recently when I was talking about Aussie wildlife that I'd share my wombat story. For a long time, the wombat has been my favourite Aussie animal - too often neglected in favour of kangaroos and koalas, I think - a wombat is cuddly, a little bit lazy, and looks a bit fat - perhaps this is why I identify with them so well! (I'm sure they'd eat chocolate too, if they could.)

On top of all that, a wombat starred (well, had a minor role, let's say) in a long-running Aussie soap opera I loved as a kid. For my Aussie readers, it will be obvious I'm referring to Fatso from A Country Practice. For non-Aussies, you just need to know that there was a wombat on TV, he was cuddly and a bit fat, and I loved him.

Amanda and the wombat
Just a couple of years ago, I got to experience something very special: I hugged a wombat. I was super-excited (as you can see by the big silly grin). Perth's great Caversham Wildlife Park was the venue for this important occasion, and I can confirm that this cuddly wombat was indeed very heavy (something like 30kg, I think?).

Before you all rush down to Caversham - although I suggest you do anyway, because it's actually a fantastic park where you can interact with lots of animals - it seems like they don't actually let you hug wombats any more. Everyone I know who's been there recently gets to sit next to the keeper holding the wombat, but they don't transfer them to your lap - which I can understand. But I'm glad I got to hug this one!

10 comments:

  1. I had a friend at Uni who had a pet wombat called Nugget... True story.
    (He had grown up on a farm and they had found a sick/orphaned one I think...)

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  2. Oh how wonderful, I'm so jealous!!! I wonder if a pet wombat curls up on your bed at night like a cat does ...

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  3. (I live in the states) I did a report on a wombat when I was in grade school--have loved them ever since. While everyone else was doing lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) I wanted to do a report on a lesser-known creature. I've always had an affinity for the quiet, shy creatures of this earth.

    So glad to see that other people love wombats too, AND clearly they get more attention in their native land than we give them over here---this is good news! :)

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  4. How lucky you snuck in a quick squeeze before the safety police got in and banned wombat hugging. This beasty was made for cuddles!
    Visiting from Rewind. :)

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  5. What I love about wombats is their slow and steady approach to life, an inspiration. I once was a researcher on the Midday Show and we had in a baby wombat. I didn't cuddle him but Ray Martin had him on his knees and was weed all over!

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  6. I have had a few encounters with wombats over the years - chomping grass outside our tent whilst camping. They are a lovely, slow animal and I agree they are too often overlooked by the 'roo and/or koala. Thanks for Rewinding x

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  7. I love Seana's story. Too funny!
    Wombats are gorgeous. And as a huge fan of A Country Practise, they hold a soft spot in my heart!

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  8. Rewinding the weekend. Aussie animals are still all a bit novel to me, and I'm a wee bit in love with most of the icon ones. My fav, though,is absolutely Wombat. Gotta love that bot, and Mem Fox's Wombat Divine is a heart-warming tear jerker. I'm in wombat-envy seeing you two hugging there!

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  9. Awww, I love wombats too! There's just something so unkempt and scruffy about them, like they've only just woken up after a hard night out.

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  10. My Mum always wanted a wombat for a pet (but she never had one). I have to agree with her, they look huggable.

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