Territorial Aggression

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Fuddles - cold, dirty and lethargic after being attacked

 

 

 


Most of the fur on his rump was ripped out in the attack

 

 

 

 


He also had a small injury on his head and one
claw was missing

 

 

 

 


After washing Fuddles we saw the extent of his injuries

 

 

 

 


Some months after the attack,
his rump had healed nicely

 

 

 


A fit and healthy Fuddles

..

Bare-Nosed Wombats are known - in most cases - to be particularly aggressive animals and can be highly territorial. Both male and female wombats are known to guard their grazing patches and in times of drought will fight to defend their territory.

Males can also be territorial of "their women!" (females that share, or border on their home range) and do not like new males sniffing around or attempting to mate with females they perceive as "theirs". Since being released we believe that poor Fuddles has come across such a male.

Fuddles was soft released on my property several months before Alu and Keti, my two hand raised girls. Before the release of these three wombats there were no wombats living on within our property boundaries, although there was a healthy population living in the immediate surrounding area. When the girls were released we think that one of the big males from the neighbouring reserve must have sniffed them out and decided to come see the attraction!

One morning - when luckily I was at home - Fuddles turned up on the doorstep - it was 11am when wombats would normally be tucked up in bed.

It was raining, and Fuddles looked wet, but I decided not to go out as I figured he would just start nipping at my ankles. On a second glace though, I noticed that Fuddles didn't look so great. He very slowly waddled up to the sliding door and plonked onto his bum, head down, eyes closed.

Concerned with his appearance I rushed outside and he barely registered that I was there. I bent down and saw that he was caked in mud from head to toe and the mud was also in his eyes.

He had no energy, was cold and lethargic. I quickly gave him a once over and was horrified at the state of his rump. Most the fur on his "bum plate" had been ripped out exposing patches of red and weeping flesh.

I washed Fuddles eyes and face with warm water and noticed he also had a minor injury on his forehead. One of the claws on his left paw was also missing.

I called Todd, who was at work, as I needed help to wash him down, bath his wounds and assess the damage. Todd was home within 15 minutes of my call and we started the slow process of washing him down.

After bathing Fuddles with diluted Dettol and warm water we saw the extent of the damage. His skin was red raw over most of his rump and there were many gauges in the flesh. The gauges hadn't broken the skin, thanks to the hard plate that covers the rump area, but they were deep and angry and black.

After Fuddles was cleaned up we made a bed for him in a crate and used the bedding material he had while in care. We brought him inside into the warmth as he was so cold and lethargic and we were worried that he wouldn't survive the night if left outside in the cold.

Fuddles slept for 36 hours straight. He did wake once during the night and we thought he was ready to go back outside, however he found a corner to wee and poo in and then slowly waddled back to his bed and fell back into a deep slumber.

Late the next night we awoke to Fuddles screaming the house down! Apparently that was long enough to be inside, thank you very much! We moved his bed onto the front verandah and this is where he stayed for several weeks before gaining the courage and strength to return to his burrow.

Fuddles visited on and off for a couple of months before he left home again for good. His bum healed very nicely and his fur was starting to grow again.

He gained a couple more kilograms from the good food that "Mum and Dad" had on offer. But, even with yummy food on tap, his wild instinct told him is was time to leave Mum and Dad again - he's been gone now for several months.

It is so comforting to know that Fuddles knows where safety and help is. I'm sure one day we'll see him again - if he needs us.

 


Click here to read A Wombat called Fuddles
(Fuddles' first story)