- cold, dirty and lethargic after being attacked
of the fur on his rump was ripped out in the attack
also had a small injury on his head and one
claw was missing
washing Fuddles we saw the extent of his injuries
months after the attack,
his rump had healed nicely
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.