A Tale of Two Wombats

A Tale of Two Wombats

In January, two juvenile wombats came into our care due to the devastating fires sweeping through townships south of Sydney. One wombat was named Michael Jackson (or MJ) because he had one white foot, the other was named Mitch. MJ had severe smoke inhalation and Mitch had burns along the length of his back. They were both small and frightened after their ordeal, and required around the clock care from our member.

MJ was given chest x-rays and oxygen treatment for the smoke inhalation, and we were relieved when he recovered without further complications. Mitch’s burns and other injuries to his back resulted in a lump that needed ongoing vet visits, needle aspiration and antibiotics. The lump went down but did not disappear completely, and we were worried it could be a foreign body under skin. Then the lump grew larger, leading to urgent surgery. The vets found a large abscess and proceeded to remove the damaged tissue and clean it thoroughly. Once again, poor little Mitch was on antibiotics, combined with daily flushing of the wound and laser treatment to enhance healing.

Fortunately his very large abscess hole healed up beautifully and he was given the all clear to return to the south coast with MJ to start the next stage of rehabilitation before their eventual release back into the wild.

The south coast in April looked very different to when we were there treating burnt wildlife in January. It is now lush and green after the floods and there is already abundant food for any wildlife that survived the fires.

We hope these two gorgeous wombats grow up big and strong, and give the other wombats in their area a run for their money once released.
(Joan Reid)

Diane Jenner
Wildlife Group
Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services