Wombania: Land of the Wombies



The World's Oldest Wombat

Carver Turns 33!

Carver, a Southern hairy nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) who lives at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, celebrated his 34rd birthday on Feb. 6, 2009.

Carver, the world's oldest wombat
Carver, a Southern hairy-nosed wombat (picture courtesy the Brookfield Zoo, used with permission. Copyright ©2005 Chicago Zoological Society)

That makes Carver not only the world's oldest living wombat, but the oldest recorded wombat ever. No other wombat, Common, or Hairy-nosed, has ever been known to live to be in his thirties. The next oldest wombat, a Common Wombat in the London Zoo, lived to be just over 26 years old.

It's possible other wombats have lived longer than that in the wild, but it seems unlikely given our current knowledge of a wombat's life span. The typical wild Hairy-nosed wombat is thought to live only 10-12 years.




Carver was born in the Brookfield Zoo in 1975, one of the first wombats to be born outside of Australia. Carver's mother, Vicky, lived to be 24.5 years old, so apparently longevity runs in the family.

Carver has suffered a few health problems, including arthritis, cataracts, and skin cancer, but seems to be in relatively good shape considering his age.

To learn more about Southern hairy-nosed wombats, click here.

To read more about Carver, visit his birthday page at the Brookfield Zoo website.

by Peter Marinacci


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