Wombats are undoubtedly cute and cuddly in appearance, and this is also one reason that people want to own them. However, many are unaware that these animals can also be dangerous as pets.
Wombats are a protected species and it is illegal to keep them as pets in most parts of Australia. Only registered wildlife carers are allowed to keep them in captivity. It is also illegal to import this animal to any foreign country.
Wombats refer to the burrowing herbivorous marsupials that are native to Australia. Belonging to the family Vombatidae, these mammals somewhat resemble small bears.
Three species of wombats are found in Australia, which are the common wombat, and two species of the hairy-nosed wombat. They range in color from sandy to brown, or black to grey. They are large and solid animals. In the wild, they can live for about fifteen years. In captivity, they can survive for about 20 years. Adult wombats can have a weight that ranges from 20 to 39 kg.
Wombats come under the category of exotic pets, since they are a wild species and kept as pets in very rare cases. It is due to their cute and cuddly appearance that people want to keep them as pets. However, it is necessary to know that adult wombats can become aggressive and are very dangerous at times. It is believed that wombats do not make good pets. Some of the reasons are:
Their natural habitat suits them better.
They belong to the wild and have certain behaviors and habits they enjoy and that are better restricted to the wild. Thus, by treating them as domesticated pets or taming them you wouldn’t be kind to them in any way. In the wild, they are nocturnal or mostly active at night due to which they are rarely seen. They have a solitary nature and prefer being left alone. They are extremely strong and powerful diggers and live and hide in burrows that range from 3 to 30 meters. That is, they love to dig, explore, and hide.
They can cause great damage.
They are superior in strength and can be very destructive, tearing holes in fences, doors, and even walls. They can damage whatsoever, with exceptions of materials made of concrete or steel. This can eventually lead to the destruction of an owner’s home as well. Since they love digging, they tend to destroy and mess up anything that comes in the way of this desire. Moreover, their enormous strength and speed becomes tough or rather impossible to handle.
They may attack their owner.
Wombats are usually not offensive, however, they can hurt humans with their long sharp claws or deep bites causing puncture wounds. In some cases, they may also charge and turn humans over which can cause breakage of bones or fractures. The reason for attack may be to defend themselves or if angered. However, at times when they want to be left alone, they may attack just out of grumpiness.
As they mature, their behavior changes.
Wombats may be very cute, affectionate, and show good response when young. However, as they grow, they tend to become unfriendly and unpredictable. Also, they become quite large in size and gain enormous strength.
In Australia, helping a wombat can be very considerate on an individual’s part. There are many charitable organizations where these animals can be donated. In case of an orphaned wombat, there are specifically-trained people who ensure that proper medical attention is provided (if required). They will take care of the wombats until these animals are capable of returning to the wild.