Wombat Primary school
The story of the project
The sanctuary has been going for 12 years (gone public 2 years ago) and in this time, wombat numbers have increased from an average 6 a year to 30 a year. BUT with our infrastructure remaining static, and the increased animal load each year, as you can imagine, we needed to change this and fast. Last year, with Pozible and our incredible supporters we created Wombat University which we completed early this year. Now we need to create Wombat Primary School for the wombats.
How the funds will be used
1. Galvanised iron to put between the sections. We do not want young wombats stressing with seeing other/adult wombats through a fence at such a young age. This will also protect them and make them feel more secure when the wild/released wombats sniff around at night.
Above you can see how we use the galvanised iron and shade cloth inbetween enclosures.
2. Fencing to fence off each enclosure individually to keep the wombats separate. We also use fencing at the base of the enclosures to wombat proof the bottom so they cannot escape as of course they are too young with no skills as yet.
3. Retainer wall (not too high) at the back on the rise to prevent flooding. The location is perfect but we will restrict the amount of water which flows down the hill. Added stress is not what young wombats will need while learning to be independent. They will still have good exposure to all weather conditions.
4. Concrete (lots of it) as we concrete the fence apron around each enclosure on both sides.
5. Shade cloth as we use 90% UV shade cloth on the outside fencing for the entire area for privacy and wind breaks. We have also learnt that if wombats can see out, they want out, back to the house. We of course want to reduce this urge and this is how we do this. It also allows us to monitor movements without having to go too close. With confiscated pet wombats this is always a problem as dehumanising is not easy for wombats. People can do a lot of damage. So we have to fix this while reducing the stress on the animal……always slowly.
6. More galvanised iron, wood, nails, studs to make up small roof coverings to go over their burrows so that in all elements of weather, they will have a shelter to go to where they will be dry. Sometimes we get caught out if we are not at the sanctuary and the weather changes, we have to be certain all wombats are safe and dry until we return and have a place to go into.
7. We have to be mindful that we may get wild young wombats in and the enclosures we build, like all our others have to withstand a wombat’s determination and be built correctly. If not, it is a waste of time and money. Also possibly with disastrous results for the younger wombat.
8. IF we had to raise anything extra, it would go towards a desperately needed dedicated food shed. We loose so much food to the elements of the weather, birds, rats and mice, etc as we have never had a food shed. We put it all on our verandah. Its All we have. With the cost of our wombat food bills each week ($400) we just cannot afford to loose anything.
This is what we come out to some mornings, after every animal has had a go and like I said, we just cannot afford the wastage. After 12 years, we NEED a dedicated food shed for the sanctuary! We need to have the food housed in a vermin proof shed, and include to that list , wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, and the birds:).
Some of my other work
Our previous Pozible project was successful for the wombats and with our supporters we completed Wombat University earlier this year. People trust us and our work and our dedication to these animals and realise that we just cannot fund this work ourselves. If people want us to continue (which they do we know this) then we need help with the infrastructure costs.
One of our supporters came all the way from the United States to visit us to see the completed project.
Our website is growing each month with visitors which is great as it shares and educates about wombats. It shares our passion and hopefully drives a passion in others which will ultimately lead to the survival of the species long term (hopefully, one of our aims). Our international audience is growing continually through our work, including our visitors, spreading the word about our work at the sanctuary, as well as highlighting Australia along the way. The wombat is an incredible creature which deserves to be preserved for future generations. We intend to be instrumental in this through our work at the sanctuary for wombats.
The wombat is the largest burrowing marsupial in the world, only found in Australia. Lets make sure we keep it that way.