Roll Call

I just found this deep in my suitcase (where the cleanest clothes are) from Nina:

note saying how are the wombats

Okay then, I’ll tell you all. There are currently 26 wombats in care at Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary, all in different stages of rescue, rehabilitation, and release. Most were orphaned when their moms became roadkill (and drivers were thoughtful enough to check the pouch before driving on). Others were kept as house pets until they became too large and inconvenient for their humans. Here are the current residents, by location:

In the house are the youngest wombats, who are bottle-fed, swaddled in cloth pouches, and sheltered in wooden crates that simulate burrows:

  • Lincoln and Barron (they’re buddies, though Lincoln is getting aggressive with Barron and they’re being separated)
  • Abram and Panzer (an adorably dynamic duo)
  • Walnut
  • Bungee (named because he was found in Bungadore, but he’s also a bit bouncy like a bungee cord)
  • Cruiser (the nicest, feistiest little spirit)
Cruiser's first time in the fresh air.

Cruiser’s first time in the fresh air.

“The Studio,” a sort of mobile home outside the house, is a little like a halfway house:

  • Chance (long story for another time)
  • Dawn (another long story)
  • Pecan and Pistachio (sweet female newcomers, very teddy-bear-like, doing great, previously “pets”)
Pistachio and Pecan playing piggyback.

Pistachio and Pecan playing piggyback.

“Up the back” are full outdoor enclosures with corrugated tin shelters and fencing; wombats can dig their own burrows. Things get wilder here as wombats become less habituated to humans:

  • Silo (a big, truly badass wombat)
  • Lucy (her success here remains to be seen; she was a baby when I came last year)
  • Soldier
  • Ruth (pregnant!)
  • Sally
  • Peanut
  • Parcel
  • Clipper (I gave him a bubble bath last year)
  • B Squared (named because his mom was called Boney Bum)
  • Sherman
  • Billy
  • Evie
Where the almost-wild things are.

Where the almost-wild things are.

Lastly, there’s “the bush,” to which the “enclosure” wombats eventually graduate if all goes well. The sanctuary has 200 acres so most will stay more or less on the property, digging their own burrows or inhabiting an unused one (its previous resident may have died). On this list would be almost 100 wombats that Donna and Phil have successfully rehabilitated. The most recent addition to the bush is Hazelnut, who sprung herself from the enclosure a few nights before I arrived.

But some wombats never leave Donna and Phil’s care:

  • Blind Boy (for obvious reasons) is in a special outdoor enclosure.
  • Dawn and Soldier (brain damage from mistreatment)
  • Barron (a young newcomer who Donna has predicted will be a permanent resident because his jaw was injured when his mom was hit by a car; as a result he can’t eat properly).
Barron is a bit of a runt because of his misshapen jaw. We're all rooting for this sweet, gentle guy.

Barron is a bit of a runt because of his misshapen jaw. We’re all rooting for this sweet, gentle guy.

Okay, all present and accounted for, at least for tonight…

One thought on “Roll Call

  1. You are dearly missed, Kama. However, I talked it over with Marvin, and we agreed that it would be selfish of us to demand your immediate return when there are 26 wombats who need to chew your shoelaces and playfully nip at your arms, decorating them with bruises.

    Related: Marvin has adopted a feigned indifference to your absence, turning to gaze at the radiator every time I mention you. But he’s not fooling anyone. Whenever I say the word “wombat” he gives me that startled look, like someone just broke down the door.

    Which is to say that he loves you, as do I, and we’re both so proud of you. Not many people have the courage and chutzpah to live their dreams. You do.

    Dive deep, my dear.

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