BUSHFIRE BURROW BACKGROUND
On the 28th December 2019 we evacuated to Orbost with two orphaned wombats. They were young enough to cope with the stress of travel and temporary relocation, however the already released wombats excluding the practicality and logistics of getting them out of their wild burrows would not have coped with the stress. We said goodbye to our home, our sanctuary, our successfully released babies, our life.
After the bushfire swept through Goongerah we were told by our brave neighbours who stayed to defend their properties that our house had survived. The moment our feet hit the ground we poured an entire bag of feed out onto the ground, and waited.
Cautious, creeping footsteps and whiskery snuffles surrounded us. Our magical orphans were safe. We fell into a pile with them. Tears, dirt, ash and all. Wombat Magic.
HELP US RECOVER
WHO WE ARE
Orphan Wombat Care
Here at Goongerah Wombat Orphanage we aim to care for orphaned, sick and injured wombats for a complete and successful release back into the wild. Most of the orphans that come into care have lost their mother's due to vehicle collisions. We aim to replicate the lifestyle they would have received with their mother as much as possible to promote a successful release back into their natural habitat.
Goongerah is nestled between mountains in Far East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. This remote town is amongst national parks and rainforests, being home to many species of Australian wildlife.
Account name: Goongerah Wombat Orphanage
Account no: 45889621
To have a dedicated wombat treatment and care facility that is fully self contained, uses rain water and runs on solar power.
We want to continue to care for these unique animals with the best standard of care and infrastructure that we can.
If you have any great suggestions or resources please get in touch below.
MEET OUR ORPHANS
If you have found an injured wombat or an orphan joey please read the following
What to do:
1. Joey is still in the pouch: carefully remove the joey from the pouch and immediately place into a pillow case, beanie or cloth pouch. Please note: if the joey is still suckling on the teat, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE. If done incorrectly it can break the jaw. Please call us if this is the case.
2. After containing, keep the joey warm, dark and quiet. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FEED. There are only two specialised formulas for joeys and they are only fed once the orphan has been assessed and in care with an experienced carer.
3. Call your local rescue group, wildlife carer or us and they will direct you to the nearest carer.
What to do:
If you have found a wombat suffering with mange in the wild please report the sighting to Mange Management.
Mange in wombats will look like a zebra effect of hair loss, crust eyes that may be closes and crusty ears.
Dog attack wombat victims will have wounds to the head and ears and predominately the rump and back.
A wombat that has been hit by a car may have grazing along the top of the back and rump and displaced pelvis like the picture above for Injured Wombat.
What to do:
If you have noticed a wombat on the side of the road that is still alive please call a rescue group immediately. If it is already deceased please stop to check the pouch as baby wombats can survive for up to three days still drinking milk and end up dying from food poisoning or predation.
Please consider your own safety when approaching an animal on the side of the road, make sure you are parked safely and do not attempt to approach the animal if it is becoming distressed.
If you have seen an injured wombat please report this to your local wildlife rescue group or if in Victoria click the button below.
What to do:
Your safety is first priority, make sure you are pulled off the road and out of any danger. If you have to pull the wombat off the road please do so with your safety in mind.
1. Roll the wombat onto its back and look between the back legs, just below where you would think a belly button to be.
2. Males will have very obvious testicles. A female with no joey may have an "open" pouch that is shallow. A female with an older joey will have a similar looking pouch, although it could be more saggy with an elongated teat.
3. A female with a joey will be quite obvious, if it is alive there will be movement.
Please call or send us a photo if you are unsure.
WHAT WE DO
HAND RAISING ORPHAN WOMBATS
At Goongerah Wombat Orphanage, we are dedicated to the individual care of each orphan. Depending on their circumstance for coming into care we aim to replicate their natural growing life. Orphans are placed with others of a similar size to emulate bonding and behavioural companionship, round the clock feeding and care to promote soft release and eventual return back into the wild.
Our goal is to improve the welfare issues surrounding wombats in care and those in the wild. Many Australian's do not share a love for wombats as we do. They are known as 'pests' in the farming community and we aim to reduce this stigma and provide alternative options for lethal control that is currently widely used.
Mange is an increasing issue for wombats in the wild and we receive many in care suffering from this disease. However there are solutions for this distressing terminal condition, please read our section on Mange for further information.