Perth Zoo Vet Nurses Become Mums to Orphaned Wombat
An eight-month-old wombat joey has been receiving round the clock care from two of Perth Zoo’s vet nurses who have been acting as surrogate mums.
Officers from Parks and Wildlife service brought the orphaned female Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat to Perth Zoo as it was too young to survive on its own.
Weighing less than 1.3 kg with just a smattering of hair, Perth Zoo’s Senior Vet Nurse, Kate Simon-Menasse and Nursing Supervisor, Peta Moore, have been providing extensive care for the tiny joey over the last few months.
“Initially she was coming home with myself or Peta every night. It was much like having a newborn infant, timing your life around bottle feeds and waking up throughout the evening to tend to her every need,” Kate said.
The wombat was recently named ‘Tili’ which means light in the Pitjantjatjara language spoken by the aboriginal people from the area where she was found.
“Tili has charmed her way into all of our hearts! She has a sweet nature but is also very cheeky,” Peta said.
“It was very special to use my wildlife skills to help this amazing little animal beat the odds and thrive, setting her up for a happy and healthy life,” said Peta.
Tili now tips the scales over 4.6 kilograms. She is currently being weaned off the special marsupial milk she’s been devouring, allowing the young wombat to become more independent.
“Tili has been an absolute dream to hand-rear. It has been exhausting but so rewarding to see her develop into a robust little wombat,” Kate said. “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to be one of her human mums.”
Unable to be released back into the wild, Tili will remain at Perth Zoo where all her specialist needs can be met by expert zoologists.
Anyone that finds injured or orphaned wildlife should contact the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055.
To thank them for all that they do, Perth Zoo will provide free entry for mums on Mother’s Day, this Sunday.