All I want for Christmas... Meg, a Southern Hairy-Nosed wombat!The more I learned about wombats the more impressed I was. Not only are they adorable and plenty of braun, but they've got brains too! Here are a few impressive facts I learned at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo:
  • There are only three species. The Northern Hairy-Nosed wombat is so endangered there are only 139 left in the wild in Queensland.
  • Baby wombats are also called "joey"s and like its cousin -- the Koala -- their pouches face backwards. WHY? So when burrowing all the dirt doesn't go directly into the pouch/baby's face.
  • Of the three species, Southerns are the most social with others and humans.
Now for the unique details that made me aspire to be like a wombat:
  • They are the smartest marsupials.
  • Wombats have few predators in the wild. Their defense? A piece of rock hard cartilige over their butt. Yes, you read it correctly. To protect themselves they'll run into their burrow with their sturdy rear end as a barrier. If that still doesn't work wombats may squash their attacker by sitting forcefully & quickly on it.
  • They can run backwards just as fast as forwards.
  • Their favorite spot to be rubbed? The butt cartilige.
Upon meeting Meg, I didn't understand why she needed a harness for a walk around an enclosed area of the park?! One minute into the extravaganza and Meg was already showing me who was boss! She was amazingly strong at 23 kilograms a.k.a. 50 pounds. She was also amazingly cunning and stubborn. I imagine children are the same way. Meg wanted to explore a construction area that was off limits to her. A staff member redirected her away from the site. As soon as the trainer turned her back, Meg bolted for the construction site with me sprinting behind to avoid being dragged!

During the latter half of the excursion -- and away from the forbidden construction site -- Meg settled down and chomped on some grass. This allowed us some QT (quality time). Her coat of hair was surprisingly soft. Not fluffy feeling like the koala's, but smooth and sleek.

If Meg could've fit in my suitcase she would be sitting with me as I write this!