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Lucy the Wombat

| Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, TAS

ANIMAL DETAILS:

Animal Name: Lucy

Animal Species: Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

Name of Zoo/Wildlife Attraction: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, TAS

About: Lucy the baby wombat was found cold, wet and frightened after her mother was hit by a car one wintery evening. Without her mum to protect and feed her, Lucy would not have survived very long on her own. Luckily, a passing motorist stopped to help and brought baby Lucy to Tasmania's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where she can live in safety while she grows up. Once she is old enough to look after herself, Lucy will be released back into the bush to have a second chance at being a wild wombat. Her story is unfortunately a very common one in Tasmania, where over half a million animals are killed by cars each year, often leaving behind a hidden tragedy of orphans like Lucy left to fend for themselves.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM:

Lucy is one of multiple animals being raised at Tasmania's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary which sits roughly 30 minutes' drive to the north of capital city Hobart. Serving as a haven for Tasmania's array of unique wildlife, Bonorong places a heavy emphasis on conservation and educating visitors on the wild and fragile natures of the state's animal ecosystem. Many of the sanctuary's animals are the survivors of legions that once spanned a continent, but now this little island bobbing on the Southern Ocean is all they have left. Bonorong is not a "zoo" in the true sense - it's a place to nurse healthy animals back to full speed to re-enter the wild.

WHERE IN AUSTRALIA THEY'RE FROM & DETAILS:

The Common Wombat is found in Tasmania, Victoria, and parts of New South Wales and South Australia and are renowned for the cute and dozy appearance - it's no surprise that they are the closest animal relative to the koala. They tend to stick to cooler and water-rich parts of Australia in a range of different habitats from rainforest, eucalyptus forestry, thick woodlands and even coastal areas.

AUSTRALIAN WOMBAT

Distribution Map

Australian Wombat Map

As you may guess from its name, the Common Wombat to which Lucy belongs is the most populous of the 3 wombat species, and these wombats can grow to anywhere between 80 and 130 centimetres and reach weights of up to 40kg on the high end! They are short, stocky and barrel-shaped animals and are excellent burrowers. Wombats are strictly herbivores and thus mostly eat grass and other plants which they mainly seek out at night.

Wombats have coarse coats that range in colour between a shiny black through to silver, chocolate brown and even cream in some cases - in fact, in southern Victoria there are even a small colony of ash-white wombats! Wombats eat mainly native grasses and roots, for which their digging skills come in very handy for unearthing.

VOTE FOR LUCY

Do YOU think Lucy is worthy of the title of Australia's Cutest Animal? Cast your vote below for your favourite animal from the nominated entries for the chance to WIN an opportunity to see them in person with Experience Oz!

Thoughts? Have your say in the comments below!