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Eddie's Story

by Emma Cash

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Eddie’s story is one which I still find hard to tell. Why do I tell it you may ask? Well the answer is that it was probably my first taste of reality into wildlife care; the joy and heartbreak all rolled into one little wombat.

Eddie was my first ever wombat, a 2kg ball of furry fat which came into my care after he was found in his dead mum’s pouch. She had been hit by a car the night before.

Like most wombats when he first arrived he was a right royal pain in the behind to feed. But after a few days of cursing and a lot of phone calls for moral support he was our shelters monster on four legs and everyone loved him.

Spending his days sleeping, eating and playing Eddie was a bundle of energy. Someone once told me wombats have 10 minutss of madness, well they lie. They have at least 30 minutes of madness where they play with everything that moves and try to bulldoze through anything that doesn’t, and then collapse in a heap re-energizing for their next attack on the world.

Eddie continued to grow and do wombat things enjoying life’s simple pleasures of being waited on hand and foot. By the time he reached a hefty 7kg, we moved him into what we thought was a wombat proof yard.

It wasn’t until he reached the small size of 14kgs that we realised it wasn’t quite as wombat proof as we would have liked! Eddie managed to escape and ended up locking himself in our neighbors laundry much to their bewilderment.

After a night in the ‘wild’ Eddie was never the same, he went from being a slightly hyperactive wombat to an independent grouch who just wanted out. We bit the bullet and decided it was time to move him to his release site. All went well, he was out being a wild animal in the same area as he came from and then tragedy struck.

Some hoon (that was probably the nicest word that we used!) hit Eddie and left him on the side of the road to die. We were lucky that by chance an experienced shelter found him, picked him up and raced him to a vet the following morning.

Thanks to the fantastic work done by the vets Eddie survived the crash, only to reveal a much greater problem, he had lost all feeling in this back legs.

After much debate (and quite a few tears) it was decided to give him a go and try some new techniques, involving a spinal specialist for canines.

Six weeks of physio, three times a day to a wombat who had decided he was wild was no easy task. Thank you to all the staff at the vet hospital, some of which I am positive are still trying to find calf muscles and fingers that he may have sampled. To Leasa and Sue for helping me with the physio sessions and Georgina and Tina for giving me the emotional support while on this rollercoaster.

After six weeks although a very slight improvement (where he could feel us touching his feet) it was decided that it was time to let Eddie go.

The wild is no place for a two legged wombat. I have made the decision to euthanasia hundreds of animals as my time as a carer. But agreeing to euthanaise one of my babies was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Did I make the right call, yes I am certain of it, did that make it any easier, no.

As a shelter I made the commitment to return animals only 100% fit back to the wild. We all do our best to raise animals which we hope will live a long happy life in the wild, reality is that some don’t.


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