In Memory of 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)
Carver, a Southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) who lived at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, passed away on October 1, 2009. He lived to be 34 years and seven months old.
That makes Carver the world's oldest wombat on record. No other wombat, Bare-Nosed, or Hairy-nosed, has ever been known to live 34 years.
It's possible other wombats have lived that long 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, though one wombat in the wild was known to be at least 20 years old.
Carver was born in the Brookfield Zoo on February 6, 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 suffered a few health problems, including arthritis, cataracts, and skin cancer, but otherwise was in relatively good shape considering his age.
To learn more about Southern hairy-nosed wombats, click here.by Peter Marinacci