CANBERRA, Aug. 22 (PNA/Xinhua) — While the wombat, a seemingly “cute” marsupial native to Australia, is considered a cute and cuddly furry creature in children’s literature, they are in fact dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, a local wildlife expert said on Monday.
Following the harrowing tale in which a Canberra woman was viciously attacked by one of those seemingly-cute native marsupials, ACT Wildlife’s Martin Lind has warned locals that wombats are in fact dangerous animals.
Last week, Canberra native Kerry Evans was walking her dog when a large wombat approached and proceeded to maul her. Evans sustained scratches and more than 20 bites — one of which required stitches.
On Monday, Lind said despite how they may be portrayed in popular culture, Australians should give wombats a “wide berth” if they come across them in the wild.
“Wombats are portrayed in literature and kid’s stories as being these cute, innocuous little critters but they’re not, they’re just not,” Lind told Fairfax Media on Monday.
He said that, in the early stages of their life, wombats may live up to the ‘cute and cuddly’ tag, however, it quickly ends as they enter “puberty” and mature.
“As babies, they’re clingy, they’re adorable, they’re with mum 24 hours a day, they’re in a soft, snugly sleeping bag all the time listening to a heartbeat,” Lind said.
“When they start to mature and hit puberty, they just hate everybody and everything. They go from running between your legs and cute as a button to being absolute little shits. They nip you, they wreck, they bite.”
He also warned that it’s hard to outrun the stocky creatures, adding that they can maintain speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour — just slower than renowned sprinter Usain Bolt.
“You can’t outrun them, they go like lightning,” Lind said. “They’re like little bulldozers.”