story is one which I still find hard to tell. Why do I tell
it you may ask? Well the answer is that it was probably my first
taste of reality into wildlife care; the joy and heartbreak
all rolled into one little wombat.
was my first ever wombat, a 2kg ball of furry fat which came
into my care after he was found in his dead mum’s pouch. She
had been hit by a car the night before.
most wombats when he first arrived he was a right royal pain
in the behind to feed. But after a few days of cursing and a
lot of phone calls for moral support he was our shelters monster
on four legs and everyone loved him.
his days sleeping, eating and playing Eddie was a bundle of
energy. Someone once told me wombats have 10 minutss of madness,
well they lie. They have at least 30 minutes of madness where
they play with everything that moves and try to bulldoze through
anything that doesn’t, and then collapse in a heap re-energizing
for their next attack on the world.
continued to grow and do wombat things enjoying life’s simple
pleasures of being waited on hand and foot. By the time he reached
a hefty 7kg, we moved him into what we thought was a wombat
It wasn’t until he reached the small size of 14kgs that we realised
it wasn’t quite as wombat proof as we would have liked! Eddie
managed to escape and ended up locking himself in our neighbors
laundry much to their bewilderment.
a night in the ‘wild’ Eddie was never the same, he went from
being a slightly hyperactive wombat to an independent grouch
who just wanted out. We bit the bullet and decided it was time
to move him to his release site. All went well, he was out being
a wild animal in the same area as he came from and then tragedy
hoon (that was probably the nicest word that we used!) hit Eddie
and left him on the side of the road to die. We were lucky that
by chance an experienced shelter found him, picked him up and
raced him to a vet the following morning.
to the fantastic work done by the vets Eddie survived the crash,
only to reveal a much greater problem, he had lost all feeling
in this back legs.
much debate (and quite a few tears) it was decided to give him
a go and try some new techniques, involving a spinal specialist
weeks of physio, three times a day to a wombat who had decided
he was wild was no easy task. Thank you to all the staff at
the vet hospital, some of which I am positive are still trying
to find calf muscles and fingers that he may have sampled. To
Leasa and Sue for helping me with the physio sessions and Georgina
and Tina for giving me the emotional support while on this rollercoaster.
six weeks although a very slight improvement (where he could
feel us touching his feet) it was decided that it was time to
let Eddie go.
wild is no place for a two legged wombat. I have made the decision
to euthanasia hundreds of animals as my time as a carer. But
agreeing to euthanaise one of my babies was one of the hardest
things I have ever done.
I make the right call, yes I am certain of it, did that make
it any easier, no.
a shelter I made the commitment to return animals only 100%
fit back to the wild. We all do our best to raise animals which
we hope will live a long happy life in the wild, reality is
that some don’t.