On the mainland common wombats grow to an average length of 1m and 27kg in weight, yet may reach up to 1.2m in length and up to 35kg. The Tasmanian common wombat is not as large or bulky, averaging a weight of 20kg and about 85cm in length. Their thick paws are designed for digging burrows. They also have a pouch which faces backwards to protect their young from flying dirt whilst the mother is digging the burrow.
The common wombat is found throughout south-east Australia and also in Tasmania. They inhabit all sorts of areas including coastal forests, alpine woodlands and grasslands.
A wombat's diet can consist of coarse native grasses, sedges, rushes, succulent plant roots and tubers and pasture grasses. Wombats are mostly nocturnal, usually coming out at night to graze when the temperature is lower. However in cold periods they may be seen out during the day either grazing or basking in the sun. They graze between 3 and 8 hours a night, during which time they may travel many kilometres and visit up to 4 burrows within their home range.
When food is plentiful they breed throughout the year. Gestation lasts for one month, then a jelly-bean sized joey is born which attaches to a teat in its mother's pouch. The joey will leave the pouch at ten months but will stay with the mother for another eight to ten months. From the time the juvenile leaves the pouch it begins to substitute increasing amounts of plant material instead of milk. At between 12-15 months of age it stops suckling altogether. They commence breeding at two years and live for about 15 years in the wild or up to 20 years in captivity.
Common Wombat Profiles
Burrow is a big wombat with an even bigger personality! Born at Australia Zoo in March 2003, she is definitely a wombat her prefers her space, and can get quite vocal about it from time to time! Burrow really enjoys her walks where she can enjoy her time exploring outside of the enclosure. Although she puts on a tough exterior, she often shows her sweeter side by sharing her lunch each day with the local water dragons. One of Burrow’s most unique traits is that she loves yoga! Can you believe it? You can spot Burrow performing her stretches against the walls of their dens.
Kato is a wombat bursting with character and who thrives on attention! Born at Australia Zoo in November 2003, she absolutely loves scratches from the keepers, but can get a little demanding when the attention stops. She also loves her daily walks, and if she isn’t waiting at the gate asking to be taken out, all it takes is a rattle of the harness and she’ll come running! She loves posing for photographs so much that she often gets taken to meet guests on our VIP tours, happily munching away on corn while the photos are taken with a look of pure bliss on her face!
Milo is currently our only male wombat resident at the Zoo, born at Australia Zoo in September 2012. Milo is slowly growing into a very cheeky little boy who tries to push his limits with our other adult wombats, especially during lunch time. He will often try to see if what the other wombats have for lunch is better than his, and the keepers have fun stopping him from trying to chase the other wombats away from their meal! When not grazing on the grass, Milo can be found sticking his nose in everyone else’s business, whether it’s trying to help the keepers clean the dens, or helping the other wombats dig burrows in the sand, you can be sure Milo is causing trouble somewhere!
Minibus is our oldest wombat, born in June 1995! There are a number of ways Minibus, or Mini, likes to spend her day. You will often find her renovating her burrows through the sandpit, chilling out under the guava tree in the shade, or having cuddles with her keepers ... Oh, what a life!
By far her favourite activity is going out on her daily walk. Whether she ventures around the entire Zoo or 20 metres down the path to her favourite grazing area, she loves to get out and about on her little adventures. One of the things that makes Mini so dear to us is the story behind her start to life. Upon hearing the name 'Minibus', most people look straight to her well rounded stomach for the inspiration behind her name. The name, however, is rather a sad tribute to her mum. Unfortunately Mini's mum was hit and killed by a minibus when she was crossing the road. If it were not for a good Samaritan who took the time to check her mother's pouch, Mini would not be with us. Minibus was taken to be hand-raised and now, years later, she lives happily here with us at Australia Zoo, and now she is a mum herself! It just goes to show what a little extra care and attention towards our native wildlife can produce.
Poa is a very affectionate young wombat who absolutely loves her food! If she was allowed to, she would happily finish the groups left overs at feeding time. She is the newest arrival to the Australia Zoo wombat family, arriving in early 2014. At first the other wombats weren’t impressed with the newcomer, but now Poa has found her place in the group. Born in September 2012, Poa had a rough start to life. She lost her mum quite young and was raised by keepers. She still prefers to spend time with people over the other wombats, and absolutely loves to fall asleep between keepers’ feet. Wherever the staff go, Poa can be seen running along behind, crashing into their feet as they walk!
Wattle is the youngest member of the Australia Zoo wombat family. Born on New Year’s Day 2016 she is bursting full of character. She loves nothing more than to explore her enclosure, digging in the sand pit or running through the mulch. She is so little she can hide herself in the deep mulch, surprising both keepers and other wombats when she pops up! Keep an eye out as you walk around the zoo, Wattle can often be seen out on her daily walks with her keepers, munching on fresh grass. After a big day of mischief she loves to curl up in her den with her favourite blanket, or cuddle up to her keepers.
Age: 7 Years (DOB 19/1/2010)
Wendy is a very gentle and placid wombat who certainly takes on the sweet nature of her mother, Minibus.Very distinct in appearance with her dark chocolate brown fur, she is Milo’s older sister, born at Australia Zoo in January 2010, and shares an enclosure with Burrow and Kato. She lives with two females who both have strong personalities, so you will often find Wendy having some time to herself, lounging around in her air conditioned den. But she doesn’t sleep all the time, and in the afternoons you can often see Wendy running around playing games with herself and rolling around in the sand, how cute is that?!