I received the call in the late afternoon in the middle of winter. A lady was in a  reserve near her property, and saw a deceased wombat in the bushes close by. She didn’t think much of it until she saw a small paw sticking out.  There was a tiny live baby in the pouch. He must have been there almost 24 hours before he was found. She found a gunshot wound to the mother’s head and remembered she heard gunshots and saw lights the night before. She removed the bub, wrapped him up and called for help. 

Theo soon after he was rescued.

He couldn’t regulate his body temperature so he was stone cold. This can be fatal for young marsupials. He had been without his mother’s milk so he was quite dehydrated. When he was collected by the carer, he was warmed up, hydrated, assessed and fed. He settled into his new life in care, being buddied up with other orphan wombats that he could learn to do wombat things with. After 18 months in rehabilitation he was ready for release back into the wild for a second chance at life. 

Theo in an outdoor enclosure, getting closer to release.

Victorian laws allowed for wombats to be shot in particular areas without a permit. The laws didn’t protect these native animals until 2020. Wombats can still be shot with a permit, however under the new laws that have come into effect, shooting wombats without an authorisation will result in fines of up to $39,000 and up to 2 years in jail.

Author:
Wild Paws Wildlife Shelter

Wild Paws Wildlife Shelter is a not for profit organisation, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured & orphaned native Australian wildlife. They specialise in a wide variety of species ranging from possums & gliders, wombats, bats & flying foxes, birds, reptiles and more.

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