A wild female wombat is currently receiving treatment at Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital after being mauled by a dog. The wombat is a young adult and was found near Narromine, with serious injuries from dog bites to her head, neck and front legs. Vets at the Zoo are currently working on treat the extent of the damage by clearing away dead tissue.
The wombat’s wounds are substantial with Veterinarian Benn Bryant saying, although the wounds are starting to heal, more surgeries will be required to stop infection spreading.
Due to the extensive soft tissue and cartilage damage to the head and ears, it may be necessary to amputate the wombat’s ears to save her life.
According to Benn this won’t be a problem as wombats evolved to have naturally small ears so they’re not a hindrance when wombats dig their burrows.
Benn believes the wombat should be fine to be returned to the wild once veterinary staff are confident she has made a full recovery. It is quite rare for wombats to have these sorts of injuries as they are usually able to hold their own against an attacking dog. Usually wombats are able to run back to their burrow and use the hard plate of bone in their behind to trap and crush the head of a pursuing dog.
This wombat was likely too far away from her burrow and unable to defend herself.
The Wildlife Hospital sees many native animals come in to be treated for wounds caused by domestic animals.
It is important for owners to control their dogs and cats at night when most of our native nocturnal animals are out and about.