Emergency Wombat Care
If you find a dead wombat, as long as it's safe to do so, you should check its pouch to see if there are any young. Young wombats can survive for several days after the mother has been killed. Sometimes the young wombat will be nearby the mother, so you should also check the general vicinity.
There's an excellent article, "How to safely remove a joey from the pouch of its dead mother", over at the Fourth Crossing Wildlife Site. They also have a good page on What to keep in a Wildlife Rescue Kit.
Hairy nosed wombat joey (picture courtesy of Wendy Morphett, used with permission)
Another good article on Wombat first aid (with pictures) can be found at the Wombat Protection Society of Australia's website.
If you find a baby wombat, it has probably suffered a great deal of stress and trauma. Keep it warm by wrapping it in a blanket or towel, and loosely cover its head to help calm it. A pillowcase or something similar is even better, as it is more like the mother's pouch. Natural fibre material such as cotton or wool are best. Ideally, the wrapped baby wombat should be placed under your shirt or jacket to warm it. Your heartbeat will help to put the wombat at ease. The baby wombat will need to be kept near a heat source, warm, not hot, for as long as you have it. It should be handled as little as possible and kept quiet and in the dark in order to minimize its stress.
Adult wombats are very strong and have sharp teeth and claws, so if you find a larger injured animal, you must be extremely careful. An injured animal will not know you're trying to help it. The larger wombat can also be wrapped in a blanket, but it should be kept in a strong box or cage or some place where you can secure it in case it gets scared or becomes aggressive.
Don't feed a wombat milk, as they require a special formula. Cow's milk can be lethal. Water or sugar water can be used if needed. Human food is not suitable for a wombat, young or old.
It is best to get the wombat to a local registered wildlife carer as soon as possible so that it has the best chance for survival. Australian Fauna Care has an excellent database of carers all over Australia, including their addresses and phone numbers. They will ensure that the wombat gets the appropriate care.
Alternatively, you could take an injured wombat to your local vet, or there are various wildlife rescue organizations that you can contact. You can visit their websites, or call their rescue hotlines (alphabetical by state):by Peter Marinacci
- LAOKO (Looking After Our Kosciuszko Orphans) (Snowy Mountains region of NSW) 02 6456 1313
- Native Animal Network Association (NSW South Coast) Rescue Hotline 0418 427 214
- Native Animal Rescue Group (Braidwood, NSW) Wildlife Rescue 4846 1900
- Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services (Sydney Wildlife) 24hr Rescue Hotline 9413 4300.
- Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers (Murwillumbah, NSW) 24 Hour Hotline 02 6672 4789
- Wildcare Inc. (Area surrounding the Australian Capital Territory) 24 Hour Hotline 02 6299 1966
- Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES) (NSW) Phone: 1300 094 737 Wires has many branches in NSW listed here.
- Wildlife Rescue Inc (NSW) 24-hour Operations Centre 1300 596 457
- Wildlife Rescue Service (NATF) (Hunter Valley, NSW) 24 Hour Emergency Rescue Hotline 0418 628 483
- Fauna Rescue of Queensland (Proserpine, Queensland) For the Whitsunday and Bowen areas phone 4947 3389. For other areas call the RSPCA at 1300 ANIMAL.
- Granite Belt Wildlife Carers Inc. (Stanthorpe, SE Queensland, but also covers surrounding areas) Rescue hotline 0418 144 073
- Fauna Care and Release (South Australia) (08) 8449 4413 or mobile 0402 063 173
- Fauna Rescue of South Australia (Modbury North, South Australia) Wildlife Volunteer Helpline 8289-0896
- The Native Animal Network (South Australia, statewide) 24 hour service 8388 6944, 8389 3117, or 8289 8445
- Wombat Rise Sanctuary (Sandleton, South Australia) 0428 897 761 or mobile 0400 924 010
- BADGAR Wildlife Rescue Owned by the Greendale Wildlife Shelter. 24 hour emergency hotline 1300 223 427
- Foa's Ark (Dingle Road, Beechworth, Victoria) 0357 282 649
- Help for Wildlife (Victoria) 24 hour hotline 0417 380 687
- WHOMP (Wildlife Help On Mornington Peninsula) (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria) 24 hour hotline 0417 380 687
- Wildlife Rescue & Information Network (WRIN) (Bendigo, Victoria) 0419 356 433
- Wildnet Wildlife Victoria (Melbourne, Victoria) 24 hour emergency rescue line 13 000 94535
New South Wales
If you know of any other rescue organizations, please contact us at so that we can add them to the above list.