True Wild Life | Wombat | The wombat is a medium sized marsupial that is found only in Australia and it's surrounding islands. Wombats are burrowing mammals that spend most of the day under ground, coming out at night to feed. The common wombat is thought to be a descendant of the giant wombat that existed around 50 million years ago. The giant wombat's extinction is said to be caused by hunting and changes to their environment including pollution and habitat loss.
The common wombat is a nocturnal herbivore and gets to about 26 years old in the wild although some wombat individuals have been known to live for longer in captivity. Wombats eats grasses, shoots and bark which the wombat needs to keep gnawing on in order to keep it's continuously growing teeth at a manageable size. Like all other marsupials, the female wombat has a warm pouch on it's belly in which the wombat babies are nurtured for the first few months of life. When the baby wombats are first born they are very small and undeveloped and crawl into the mother wombat's pouch almost immediately. The baby wombat stays in the pouch of the mother wombat until the baby wombat is around 5 months old. By the time the baby wombat is roughly 7 months old, it is able to care for itself.
Wombats have long claws which they use to dig burrows. Wombat burrows can easily become an extensive network of underground tunnels leading to small chambers. Most wombats are solitary animals but some wombats have been known to form underground colonies with other wombats.
Wombats have a few natural predators including foxes and dingos. Although the wombat is relatively defenceless when it is out and about, wombats are generally well protected in their underground burrows as many predators cannot follow the wombat into the narrow, complex tunnels. Today the wombat is considered to be an endangered species of animal. Wombat numbers have been decreasing rapidly due to habitat loss and hunting by humans who believe the wombat and it's network of underground tunnels to be an agricultural pest.