Wombats can't jump but they can climb
IT COMES as something of a surprise to learn that wombats are expert climbers.
But, according to Tina Janssen of the Safe Haven animal sanctuary, some wombats are real escape artists.
"The common wombat can easily climb a chain mesh fence," she said.
"Which is why we surround their compounds with pool fencing panels.
"They can't get a grip on those."
Fortunately, the southern wombats aren't interested in escaping their compounds.
"They've got a dirt pile to play in and air-conditioned pens so they're not in any hurry to leave," Tina said.
The southern wombat enclosures were built over six years ago and the wire mesh needs replacing.
Fortunately some volunteers from Gladstone Rotary were on the job.
Rotarian Neil Smith said his group visited the sanctuary last year and they left determined to help out where and when they could.
"Our group were really impressed with what we saw," he said.
"So some of the money from the ladies only, Long Table fundraising event, last year was put aside to help Tina and Peter out."
Neil said local businesses were also happy to pitch in.
"Dennis Connolly from the Feedbarn gave us a pretty good discount for the wire mesh and pickets and Allied Pickfords delivered it for free to Mt Larcom for us.
"It's great to see local companies helping out community groups like this."
The Rotary group will return in the near future to help erect the fences, much to Tina's delight.
"The fencing job has been on the cards for a while now and I was really thrilled when Neil rang and said they were coming out," she said.
"The chain-link fencing only needs to be 1.2 metres high, but we'll make sure it's put in nice and strong.
"The important thing is to run footing wire across the compounds which stops them digging tunnels."
Fortunately the wombats haven't learned to jump, yet.