Animal Diaries Archive
Get to know the Southerns
25 August 2006
While making your way around the Zoo, be sure to stop by our new wombat enclosure which is home to three beautiful female Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats. It is suitably located next door to our Common Wombat enclosure, so you can see just how different these two species are. Although the enclosure is still undergoing some renovations, we thought it was about time we introduced you all to Meg, Laura and Grotty.
These three girls were raised at the Zoo’s rehab house, a quiet environment with very little noise or distractions, so when they were first introduced into their new home, it took some getting used to with all of the noises from other animals, construction noises and lots of people walking past the enclosure, but they have settled in extremely well and we are proud as punch to be able to show them off to our visitors. Thanks to the work of our mock-rocking team who have worked tirelessly for the past couple of months to complete the first stage of the wall, so the front area could be opened up for public viewing.
The next step will be to open up the viewing platform, which runs up through the centre of the enclosure, giving patrons the chance to see the wombats up close doing what they do best… digging! The platform looks out over a huge sandpit, which the wombats spend plenty of time in. They have tunnels that their keepers have constructed for them and they make good use of these. Native grass species are available to the girls, as we have planted many of these in the sandpit for them to munch on.
Eventually the girls' overnight dens will be on display, so you can watch them during naptime. The girls have developed a good sleep pattern and usually toddle off to their air-conditioned dens mid-morning for a snooze. Wombats are nocturnal in the wild, but because these girls were raised in captivity, they are up and about for the most part of the day. They are especially boisterous and playful first thing in the morning and will come tearing out of their den, race up the hill spinning and jumping as they go. Once they work off some of that energy, we offer them breakfast, usually a juicy piece of sweet potato or corn.They spend their day grazing, exploring the yard, digging and playing with their keepers and when it all gets too much for them, they will find a nice shady spot to lay down in. It’s a tough life being a wombat.
Our Amazing Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats
The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is one of three species of wombat, it can grow to a length of 75-100cm with a height of 25-35cm and can weigh as much as 32kg. ...more