Famous Wombats of The World
Although wombats aren't nearly as well known as kangaroos or koalas, there have been a few wombats who have gained some fame. This is our list of the world's most famous wombats.
The World's Most Famous Wombats
One of the earliest wombats who came to fame was Top, who was briefly owned by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a famous painter who lived in London in the 19th century. Top was initially given to Prince Alfred who was visiting Tasmania, and he sailed back to England with the prince. Top eventually ended up in a London shop that dealt with exotic animals, which is where Rossetti found him.
Rossetti's Wombat, Top, illustration from the cover of the book "Rossetti's Wombat" by John Simons
Although Top's life was short, he made a big impact on many artists and writers who associated with Rossetti, and on many others. Top may have even been the inspiration for the dormouse in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, although that is disputed. Nevertheless, Top enjoyed a good deal of publicity and notoriety during his short life, and he remains fondly remembered even today. There is a book about Top and his life with Rossetti, Rossetti's Wombat by John Simons, and there was a recent lecture about Top by Angus Trumble.
Carver, the oldest wombat on record (picture courtesy the Brookfield Zoo, used with permission. Copyright ©2005 Chicago Zoological Society)
The oldest known wombat to ever live is Carver, a hairy-nosed wombat who was born and raised in the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. Carver lived from February 6, 1975 to October 1, 2009, making him 34 years and seven months old when he died. Carver was one of the first wombats to be born in captivity outside of Australia. His mother, Vicky, lived to be 24 and a half years old. Carver fathered nine offspring during his long life.
Patrick, the oldest wombat alive (picture courtesy of Ballarat Wildlife Park, used with permission)
The world's oldest wombat alive today is Patrick, who lives in the Ballarat Wildlife Park in Victoria, Australia. Patrick turns 30 years old on August 30, 2015. He is a big wombat, weighing just under 40 kg (79 pounds), which is just under the maximum weight for a common wombat.
Orphaned as a young joey, Patrick was raised by human carers.
Patrick is a modern wombat and has a large following on Facebook. He seems to enjoy the limelight and his fame.
For many years, Chewbacca was the oldest living Common Wombat in the world (picture courtesy of Womland, used with permission)
When Chewbacca passed away in the Tama Zoo in Tokyo, he was the oldest wombat alive. Born in March of 1986, Chewbacca was a few months older than Patrick and passed away on November 8, 2014. Chewbacca was very popular at the zoo, and after his passing many people left him flowers and sweet potatoes (one of his favorite foods) in his memory.
Chewbacca and three other wombats came from the Taronga Zoo in Australia to Japan on September 4, 1986. Chewbacca was the last survivor of that group and had lived almost his entire life in the Tama Zoo.
Womland is a website dedicated to Chewbacca and a few other wombats. You can find thousands of pictures of Chewbacca there that span 15 years of his life in the zoo.by Peter Marinacci