Real Live Digger

This turned up in my in-box t’other day, from the wombat rehabilitators at Russell’s Burrow, and made me very happy. Go, real-life Digger!

>Hi Ursula,
>We had 3 wombat joeys come in last week.
>One was with her dead mother for approx 6 days. A member of the public
>noticed a dead female wombat in a field and didn’t think much of it, until
>she noticed that there was dirt all around her (and the dirt was becoming
>more noticeable) over the next few days. We would of course think that a
>dead wombat in a field would have been further cause for investigation from
>the start – death would not have been from a motor vehicle for starters and
>could have been from something more ugly (such as being shot or heaven’s
>above, poisoning!)
>The member of the public decided to investigate the dead wombat 6 days
>later and found a female joey who had dug underneath mum – hence the dirt
>(and hence the name – Digger (although I immediately thought of your comic
>strip)). Digger is around the 4kg mark (which makes her close to 9-10
>months old) and very nervous. Loves her pouch but becomes very unsettled if
>she’s out of it and prone to biting. It will take her a while to come out
>of her shell, but we hope to pair her up with a smaller wombat, Delvina (we
>thought that would be an appropriate name). Delvina, on the other hand is a
>right-royal monster and demands constant playing and attention. Hopefully
>this will rub off on Digger when we eventually pair them up, but in the
>interim, I thought that you would be interested to know that there is a
>real life wombat called ‘Digger’. Things are still early days, however, and
>Digger is not out of the woods yet. As often happens, health problems don’t
>tend to manifest themselves until weeks later and we sadly end up with a
>deceased joey (the flipside of wildlife caring). Must go, at work and
>someone has to keep the country running – sorry the message is a bit short
>and disjointed.
>Take care,
>John & Donna

Letter and photo reposted with permission–and we have an update, too, as it appears Digger, while still wary, is starting to respond to the rehabilitators, following her surrogate mom around and making “huff-huff!” noises (which is evidentally how a baby wombat calls its mother.)

I feel all warm and fuzzy.

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