Did you know we measure the size of a wombat in basketballs? That’s the anecdotally official term of measurement anyway! And Little Blackie would be a 2-ball bub. 🏀 🏀
Little Blackie’s burrow is quite literally on Wombat Bend and she inherited it from her mother, who tragically was killed just a few weeks ago by someone speeding far too fast along our road. At her tender young age, Little Blackie should still be with her mum, learning the ropes of how to be a grown-up wombat, but now she has to depend on herself. Borderline independent she would prefer to have her mum nearby… and sadly she doesn’t know where she is now. (I buried Mum further away, along the creek bank).
I hope I can keep her a bit safe, and healthy, while she grows into a big girl. It’s the least I can do, to honour her beautiful mum.
Treating Mange in Wombats
She has a visible patch of mange on her haunch, caused by a mite that is carried by foxes, but unfortunately has a devastating effect on wombats. It can ultimately cause a horrible death.
Treatment can be very successful however, with a bit of dedication and knowledge. I have installed a burrow flap at Little Blackie’s front doorway. The flap swings freely back and forth, and a measuring cup is set into its centre. The cup contains a carefully measured amount of cydectin, and as the flap is activated by the wombat passing in or out, it tips the liquid onto the back and thus the treatment begins. Once per week for about eight weeks is the recommended length of time for treatment. Obviously, this can be tricky to gauge as one does not often see the wombat out in daylight.
But at least this will give her a chance of recovering, instead of the other option. I remain hopeful. The mange treatment program has been running
for about 10 years now and has had great success and it works well for us as we know where our wombats live, so we can set up their flaps.
Wombats are precious, and every life saved is important.
Little Blackie’s burrow is one of many that I have investigated down the length of our creek, and it’s old. Very old. I can easily sit inside the entrance, and with a torch I can peer well into its cavern to the point it narrows to ‘wombat size’ and turns a corner. The claw marks on the outer rim demonstrate the power of a wombat in digging mode. A mighty lot of earth is moved.
Here’s to Little Blackie and to her long and healthy life – and to anyone driving in our area – we urge you please to slow down, especially on country roads at dusk.
Useful info to store in your phone:
Help For Wildlife (injured wildlife hotline): 0477 555 611 www.helpforwildlife.org.au
Mange Management: 0431 600 125 www.mangemanagement.org.au