by Linda Tabone
Lucy and her favourite toy
Digger at bottle time
A smiling Digger
My husband and I were very privileged to be given the care of a little male wombat and because he came to us on Anzac Day we named him Digger. He was a gorgeous boy and although he grew very big he stayed gentle. He could bite and chase you if he was in the right (or wrong) mood, but usually he was gentle.
Digger was slow released onto our very good friends Alex and Bob’s perfect wombat release property. He stayed in their enclosure and was fed all the local grasses ready for release. When Digger left the soft release enclosure he moved on.
He had been gone for a few days when he turned up back at the property. He had been quite badly injured. Bob thought he had tried to push his way under a metal object or shed and took a slice off his back, so he came back to Uncle Bob to fix him. Bob spent a couple of weeks treating Digger daily and off he went again.
A couple of weeks later he turned up again with a very nasty wombat bite on his leg that was infected. So, once again Uncle Bob treated him. This time Digger wasn’t going back out into that big bad world and dug a burrow under the stables and there he lived happily. They would often see him in the evening or early morning.
Lucy came to us at a 1580gm. She had lots of deep grazes and was covered in ticks, flees and bugs. I removed 30 huge ticks as soon as she settled and removed many, many more as the week progressed. Medication just didn’t seem to have any effect on them but did remove the dozens and dozens of flees and winged bugs.
As Lucy just wanted to keep sucking after the milk was gone, she took to a dummy almost immediately. It was like a security blanket and she would be seen upside down in her inside enclosure and later in her safehouse sound asleep with her dummy hanging out of her mouth or gently moving up and down as she sucked on it. She was another gentle giant who always cried very loudly when we went to the enclosure to feed her.
Alex and Bob did such a wonderful job with Digger, we released Lucy there as well. Lucy was put into the release enclosure, but Digger had other ideas. He spent the first night trying to break the gate down so he could get Lucy out. The gate held.
The second night, down it came with a big crash and Lucy and Digger began their courtship. Around and around the house they ran snorting and grunting. This went on night after night, much to Bob and Alex’s dismay, but eventually things calmed down.
Digger was such a quiet gentle soul that Lucy didn’t see the need to move elsewhere so she also lived a distance from the house but still on the property.
Approx. 8 months later Lucy was seen with a foot and bottom sticking out of her pouch. Alex and Bob called the new baby Spade.
Unfortunately, our poor Digger died from Mange even though uncle Bob tried everything in his power to help him and eventually Lucy and Spade moved on.
But Alex and Bob are now releasing a whole new generation of wombats from their new property and we can’t thank them enough for the hard work they put into releasing many wombats for us over the years.