So there we were, with the enclosure half-built, with the corrugated tin walls going down into the earth and up as well , the posts all in and secure for a daytime enclosure for the short legged chubby girl, Snappy, who just loves the hollow log entrance and the ultra snug & dark & cosy den within.
Late one night around the 10.30 -11pm ish mark the phone rings and a distraught lady on the phone states I've just hit a wombat, I think it has a broken leg and its very unhappy, I have put it in my car what do I do????
Luckily she was just down the road and surprisingly enough for a small lady she had strength as it was a full grown male she picked up and plonked on the back seat. Luckily he was a bit out of it, otherwise he would have been a lot harder to handle. So there we were in the pitch dark trudging up through the bush by torchlight Geoff carrying a comatose ( thankfully in this case) 25kg ish male wild wombat who had concussion and a broken leg, well not much can be done at this hour, he is safe from further car accidents and enclosed so that he can't wander off,
Morning came & other than wriggle down and make himself more comfortable , he hadn't moved, yes the front leg was broken , but a clean simple break , the concussion was lessening and on being able to contact our vet fairly early the next morning the wombat was at least given pain relief and there followed a further delay until at last all was well , his leg was set and strapped and he was moved & further confined to a small waterproof area so that he didn't use his front leg hardly at all so that it was able to set .
As time went on, his confused state lessened over the next few days , until we had the normal angry growling fully grown wombat who wasn't in the least happy about his situation.
In the meanwhile back to the new enclosure, the netting /mesh went onto the roof and a partial colour- bond roof and guttering went over that above the den area and then the sides were meshed and a door for entering that is above the tin walls and is accessed from a step on the outside and at present the famous milk crate is in use as a quick removable step for getting back out for short people like myself.
Unfortunately Tassie is in drought at present and the grass is brown and crackly which is crazy as the water table in our heavy clay is still probably only about a foot below the surface, anyway too far down to help any grass seed take root.
Snappy is back in residence and has already started making her own alterations to the den, we made it nice with a comfy bed of straw which now has piles of dirt on it so she is fairly keenly starting her own burrow from the interior of the den..The grasses and flaxes / reeds etc that I carefully planted just so; have been torn from their spot and dragged all over the inside of the enclosure, apparently Snappy & I have differing ideas on landscaping and as its her home , she will decide where they go. Poor Douggie ; he is not allowed to even glimpse inside the enclosure , for a short chubby girl Snappy can sound an awful lot like a crocodile on a rampage, we have been trying to take them on walks together in neutral territory up to the top dam & back in the hope that they will if not bond, at least tolerate sharing, but it looking like it just not going to be, she growls, hisses and bites , he hides and gets the hiccups and then is just a trembling nervous boy who would prefer to be away, anywhere as long as its away from her. Still early days yet, we will keep trying , sometimes these things can take awhile.
At the same time the male wombat had his dressing off today but is still confined in a small area so that he doesn't use his front leg too much while it heals, he is eating and drinking well and is providing some square shaped blocks of fertiliser for my garden beds so we are hopeful that he will soon be able to be released back into his own territory which thankfully is on a couple of kilometres up the road.