Posted on 11th February 2020 by Media Relations
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital has been treating a juvenile wombat for significant burns to its back, sustained in the recent bushfires in the Mudgee region.
The juvenile male Wombat weighed just over 5kg when it arrived at the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital in early January. It was found near a road between Mudgee and Bathurst. Sadly, there was no sign of its mother and at this age would still dependent on his mother.
“During the initial veterinary assessment it was evident that he had a deep extensive burn on his back, which had likely been there for some time,” said Zoo veterinarian, Dr Benn Bryant.
“The wombat needed to have surgery to remove the dead eschar or dead burnt skin which we undertook, as it would allow the wound to heal but also reduce the likelihood of infection.”
Throughout the past month the wombat has been cared for by a WIRES carer and brought in for regular check-ups to ensure the wound was healing and the wombat’s overall health was still good.
“Remarkably the wound has healed quite well over a short period of time and we are really happy with how he is recovering.”
“Time will tell if any hair will grow back over the burnt area, however it may be unlikely due to the severity of the burn,” said Benn.
The wombat will now stay with his WIRES carer for ongoing care and hand raising until he is at an age that will allow for him to be weaned and release back into the wild.
“He was definitely a lucky animal to be found when he was, as the risk of infection would have been high if no treatment occurred.”
“The wombat is in good hands with his wildlife carer and we look forward to hearing about the day he is released back into the wild,” said Benn.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital works cooperatively with numerous wildlife carers in the region who assist with rehabilitating injured and orphaned animals to allow them to be released back into the wild.
The Wildlife Hospital provides a veterinary service for injured, orphaned or diseased native wildlife. If you come across injured or orphaned wildlife you can contact 6881 1461 for advice or if safe to do so bring the animal into the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital between 8:30am – 4:00pm.