This sturdy and mostly solitary animal is enthusiastically sought out by many visitors to Healesville Sanctuary.
Common Wombats are classed as ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’). Although the species is not considered to be vulnerable, most Australians are aware of the risks to individual animals posed by feral dogs and road vehicles. Wombats are among the more than 2,000 sick and injured native animals treated each year at the Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre.
Meeting the wombats at Healesville Sanctuary is an important way to connect with the animals of Australia, and to learn about the Sanctuary’s conservation programs, especially those aimed at conserving threatened native species. The money you spend helps to support the Sanctuary’s conservation programs and its care of native wildlife, as well as fight species extinction.
The Common Wombat is native to Australia and is found in small sections of southeast tip of Queensland, eastern New South Wales, eastern and southern Victoria, and southeast South Australia. They are common throughout Tasmania and also on Flinders Island in Bass Strait.
The head of the Common Wombat is more rounded than that of the hairy-nosed species. The short ears are triangular and slightly rounded. The nose is large, shiny black and furless.
Their fur is coarser, thicker and longer than that of the Hairy-nosed Wombats, better suited to a colder, wetter habitat. Fur colour varies from sandy to brownish black or even grey, sometimes flecked.
Wombats have short legs, and the second and third toes of the hind feet are fused, with a double claw used in grooming. Wombats are solid and stocky, with short legs and tail. Their front legs and shoulders are powerful. Their front feet are large, with bear-like long claws. They use their front legs for digging burrows. The dirt is pushed to one side and the wombat backs out, moving loose dirt with front or back paws.
Wombats and Nocturnal House animals will be off display from 15 July until 28 June while we transform the Devils Playground, Wombat Gully and Animals of the Night into exciting new exhibits featuring our threatened species breeding programs and our work fighting wildlife extinction.