So what to do with two arguing wombats? What would you have done? Seriously! Im open to suggestions….! Then I considered the great outdoors! There’s nothing like getting outside in the sunshine and enjoying nature! Beside if the wombats were concentrating on not losing ‘mum’ and exploring a new environment, then they couldn’t be fighting! That was the plan!
Although Elsie and Barney are too young to be outdoors for too long and certainly never alone, they can still enjoy afternoons in the sun, playing and exploring. The outdoor time is also desensitizing Elsie to sunlight and she no longer has a reaction to the sun (see my earlier post for that story!)
Their wombat enclosure is being extended at the moment since my original enclosure was designed for one wombat not two. For two wombats, I need a much larger area to ensure they can explore, dig, excavate, forage and develop the skills they will need to survive in the wild. The enclosure is being completed thanks to a few volunteers eager to help with the extension project. They donate their time and in return they get to meet Elsie and Barney! The enclosure will be ready for when Elsie and Barney transition to permanent full time outside care.
Elsie weighs almost four kilos and is nearly nine months old. At this stage of development, if Elsie was in the wild, she would be very active and playful around mum in the burrow. She would start to explore digging and clawing by using the burrow walls. Elsie would also start to emerge from the pouch while mum is out of the burrow! Over the next few weeks she will leave the pouch permanently but remain very close to mum. You can see from Elsie’s behaviour in these videos, how ready she is for this exciting stage of independence ~ as long as I stay close by!
Barney weighs nearly three kilos and is over seven months old. At this stage of his development, if he was in the wild, he would still be in mum’s pouch! He would begin to venture out of mum’s pouch while she was in the burrow but only for short periods of time. He remained fairly active during his outdoor time with Elsie, but I made sure that both their pouches were close by and ready in case either needed a hasty retreat or if they became overwhelmed at anytime. Wombats in care can be a little more relaxed and confident because they don’t face the same stresses that they may face in the wild. We generally don’t panic and run which a mum wombat may do if being chased in the wild! There’s no one around here chasing me! The wombat joeys are also a little more pampered!
So, did a few afternoons in the great outdoors help? Are Elsie and Barney finally on wombat speaking terms? Did I ever manage to get them back indoors? More to come in my next blog!
Instagram page – wombats_and_wildlife_heljan09.