Wombats are the Unsung Heroes of the Australian Fires, Sheltering Animals in Their Burrows

January 17, 2020 at 2:09 am

Wombats are allowing other species to take refuge from the fires in their complex underground tunnels

Wombats have reportedly been “inviting” other species into their underground homes, as a temporary safe haven from the ongoing flames and smoke in Australia.

Their complex underground tunnels are serving as shelters for all kinds of unlikely visitors from lizards to wallabies, according to documentarian Peter Hylands, who recently ventured deep into Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary.

“You’ve got animals that are completely unscathed and those must be the animals that have been under the ground, it’s the only explanation when the fire zones are so extensive,” he told Yahoo News.

“I’ve seen echidnas going into burrows — lizards, and skinks, rabbits — those sort of things. I have even seen a small wallaby,” Wombat Rescue manager Yolandi Vermaak told the MatadorNetwork.com.

Wombats are well known for sharing their homes with other species, according to Brigitte Stevens of the Wombat Awarenesses Organization.

Stevens once documented a 900-acre wombat burrow complex with 89 entrances.

“Because they live in dry and arid regions, many of the other animals rely on their burrows for survival,” told Yahoo.

“Inside they are full of insects, reptiles, there are birds that live in their burrows, echidnas and we also see sheep and kangaroos take shelter within the entrance.”