World's oldest wombat

· Wednesday August 14, 2013

I've always had a thing for wombats. Growing up in Tasmania as a kid, I always secretly hoped my parents would run one over so I could get a baby out of its pouch. This never happened. When it comes to life and death, wombats generally live to be about five years old in the wild and up to 20 years old in captivity. Ballarat Wildlife Park have a wombat called Patrick who is 27 years old, making him the world's oldest living common wombat!

Patrick weighs 30kg, likes to ride around the park in a wheelbarrow and digs exactly the same size hole every night. Patrick was pulled out of his mum's pouch on the road when he was a baby and hand reared. He was released into the wild numerous times, but each time he got beat up by other wombats and had to be brought back to the park. Patrick shares a wombat hideout with a happy family of three other wombats: a mama, daddy and baby wombat. Patrick has never had children or any girlfriends or boyfriends which might also make Patrick the oldest living wombat virgin.

Ballarat Wildlife Park has lots of other cute animals to see. While I was there I saw an abundance of kangaroos and wallabies (with joeys), snoozing koalas, echidnas and even a family of giant tortoises eating what appeared to be about 20 red capsicums. You can also go to feeding sessions and meet-and-greets to get in some good pats.