Contents of Mange Kit for Wombats: ice cream container lid, plastic bottle top, disposable gloves, two cable ties, wire frame, syringe, cydectin and detailed instructions. All of this is tucked with love into a string handled paper bag and can be collected, for free, from your local vet.
I found this out when a mangey wombat known as Big Bum, took up residence recently in our Alpaca shed. I sent my partner, Michael, out with a wheelbarrow and shovel to dispose of the carcass when, it moved, painfully. I’m alive. Don’t bury me yet. A scaly head shifted. Scabby eyes blinked. And the wounded animal wearily wound itself back into sleep.
We stood watching. Neither of us had any idea what to do next.
Our local builder told us about his friend who had a sheep dog, called Sheepy. He’d been cured of mange with a dose of sump oil. Don’t go to the vet, he said, go to the garage. Talk to the mechanic. He’ll fix you up with some old engine oil. No problems.
At that point, lucky for Big Bum, we discovered the Wombat Mange Management program.
Inside the bag volunteers had packed for us was just the right amount of wisdom and human kindness.
So far, our patient has had three applications of this medicine. But it’s been an emotional ride. Every time I glance at the Aplaca shed and he is not there I wonder if we’ve killed him. Theoretically, if he isn’t there that could be a good sign. He could have recovered enough to start behaving like a normal nocturnal creature and taken up living in his burrow during the day. But on the other hand, if he isn’t there how do I know he isn’t be dead. Perhaps he should be called Schrodinger’s wombat.
Because I am so anxious I’ve been glancing at the paddock more than usual, and yesterday I saw another wombat which for one brief mistaken moment I thought was Big Bum. But it wasn’t. This wombat had a baby. It was a mother wombat. Our Big Bum is definitely male. Nevertheless, the sight of this little ball of fur beside its mother gave me hope that even if our wombat dies the next generation is going to be a little bit better off. Why? Because the owners of this paddock now know more about mange than they did before. Big Bum introduced us to Mangey Jason (as he is affectionately known) at the Mange Management Group. Jason is the one talking us through Big Bum’s treatment plan. Hopefully the data we collect from Big Bum will be useful in the treatment of other wombats and hopefully we can spread the word. Wombats do not need to suffer. They CAN be helped, if you can catch them.

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