Wombats And People

Wombats & People

Because of their size and habit, wombats were often mistaken for badgers by early settlers. That is why the localities such as Badger Creek, Victoria and Badger Corner, Tasmania were actually named after the wombat. There are also a town Wombat in New South Wales, the asteroid 6827 Wombat, a soccer team in Brisbane and the British anti-tank rifle L6 Wombat (by an awkward acronym) that have all been named after the creature.

Baby Wombat

Baby Wombat Born In A Zoo

As for their behaviour in captivity, wombats can be awkwardly tamed. If approached gently, they may even allow to be patted and held, showing signs of friendliness and relaxation. For that reason, they are quite popular in numerous parks, zoos and other tourist set-ups across Australia that have wombats on public display. Despite their lack of fear, wombats may display acts of aggression if upset, or when simply in a bad mood.

A charging wombat is capable of knocking an average-sized man over. Its razor sharp teeth and strong jaws can result in severe wounds. There was a case of a naturalist called Harry Frauca, who once suffered a 2 cm (0.79 in) deep wombat’s bite into the flesh of his leg while wearing rubber boots, trousers and thick woollen socks (Underhill, 1993).

What differs wombats from most of other Australian marsupials is their relatively large brain. Compound with strong survival insticts, it allows a tamed hand-raised wombat to be easily returned into the wild.

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