Far South Coast wombats meet sad end

SAD END: Rescue wombat Nudge and wildlife carer Dean Saxby pictured at the "Maramingo Wombatorium". Photo: Rachel Mounsey
SAD END: Rescue wombat Nudge and wildlife carer Dean Saxby pictured at the "Maramingo Wombatorium". Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Rescue wombats Nudge and Bubbles were released back into the wild last week after months of rehabilitation with wildlife carer Dean Saxby. 

It was a bittersweet end to a beautiful relationship he had formed with the two female wombats.

However, it was even sadder when the pair were found lying dead on the Princes Hwy just a few kilometres from Mr Saxby's house, only metres apart, possibly both hit by the same vehicle.

Mr Saxby said he could tell it was Bubbles and Nudge due to their distinctive features. 

"When they left they were in excellent condition, they were a healthy size and they always stayed together, which proved the buddy system worked. Everything was perfect except the ending," Mr Saxby said.

Nudge was the first wombat to arrive in Mr Saxby's care mid last year. After many bottles of special formula wombat milk, love and native grass it wasn't long before Nudge was up and running around Mr Saxby's  Maramingo property.

Mr Saxby spent many hours journaling the adventures of Nudge on his Facebook page and pretty soon the cheeky furball had a strong following.

Soon after, another rescue wombat Bubbles arrived. She too became a strong ball of cheekiness and the pair became the "Nudge and Bubbles" of Mr Saxby's's Facebook posts.

"Nudge hides under the blanket. She carefully changes position like a stealth submarine,"  Mr Saxby wrote.

Dean and Nudge last year at Dean's property. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Dean and Nudge last year at Dean's property. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

"Nudge tries to use my legs as cover but Bubbles screams 'tag, you're it,' as she again lands directly on Nudge's barely visible form."

Months of shenanigans, growing and laughter passed before it was time for the wombats to begin their journey back into the wild. The pair were gradually released far into the national park bushland surrounding Mr Saxby's property. 

Nudge follows closely behind  Dean Saxby stopping often to nibble on the grass. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Nudge follows closely behind Dean Saxby stopping often to nibble on the grass. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

 Mr Saxby said he was saddened by the outcome but also knew it came with the territory of being a wildlife carer.

 "I’m devastated but with wildlife caring, you lose far more than you win. You start with an animal that has already cheated death simply by surviving," he said

"The odds are stacked enormously against their continued survival so Nudge and Bubbles were a definite win. They were surviving back in the bush where they were meant to be."

And life must go on.  Scratching around in the tunnels of the  "wombatorium" on Mr Saxby's property are three other newly arrived wombat joeys.

The antics of Willow, Nugget and La La are sure to become the next chapters of Mr Saxby's journal. 

Dean feeds wombat joey Nugget her afternoon bottle. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Dean feeds wombat joey Nugget her afternoon bottle. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

This story Sad tale of rescue wombats Nudge and Bubbles first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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