Raising orphaned wombats during a CoVid lockdown


Just months after the 2019/20 catastrophic bushfires hit Australia, Melbourne suffered the world’s longest total CoVid-19 lockdown, making travel difficult. After what was meant to be a brief trip to Melbourne from the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage Goongerah, 450kms away and a place devastated by the Australian bushfires, Emily Small, founder of the orphanage, unexpectedly found herself stuck in Melbourne, looking after orphaned rescued baby wombats in her top-floor Melbourne apartment.

So, in her top floor Melbourne apartment, Emily did, what any great wildlife carer would do. Until she could get them back home to the bush orphanage 450kms away, she recreated (as best as she could) the habitat that baby wombats would need to grow up healthily and ready for release into the wild; She’d feed them a special wombat care formula; To make sure their gut biome was appropriate, she’d grow grass from Goongerah in a planter box on her balcony, and feed them this, along with dirt collected from the orphanage (n.b. wombats eat dirt and grass); She’d give them bark and sticks from the Goongerah to chew on, and of course, give Landon, Bronson and Beatrice, somewhere safe and cosy to sleep, and always close to the love and protection of Emily