World Wombat Day fell on Thursday 22nd October 2020; a special day set aside to appreciate and commemorate this iconic Aussie legend we call the wombat.
It’s arguably the most important day of the year for Wombat Awareness Organisation (WAO). A non-profit charity specialising in the rescue, rehabilitation and advocacy of the wombat. WAO focuses on conserving and protecting wild wombats whilst supporting a 24 hour rescue and rehabilitation centre within the largest and only free range, cage free wombat sanctuary in the world.
WAO volunteers care for up to 90 wombats at any one time at the sanctuary.
One week ago today, Harold, a bare-nosed wombat was found by the side of a road by a volunteer with 26 bullet holes scattered throughout his little body. Wombat Awareness Organisation immediately rushed Harold to the vet who provided him with life saving treatment. Over the course of the days following, Harold’s condition improved, leaving his carers hopeful of a miracle.
On 17th October 2020, Harold took a turn for the worst, requiring specialist emergency surgery to repair damage from a bullet wound in his bowel. He somehow miraculously survived the surgery.
On the morning of 18th October 2020, Harold’s little body gave up and he passed away, while being cared for by WAO volunteers.
The news of his passing shocked the massive crowd of social media fans from around the globe who were following Harold’s plight and waiting on baited breath for the next instalment of his unfortunate sad story.
Claire, a Facebook fan said “RIP Harold, I’m glad you got to feel the love and warmth of humans before you passed”.
The sadness then turned to outrage at how such an horrific act of animal cruelty was even possible in our community.
Jorg, a danish Facebook fan wrote: “My heart is broken and I can’t hold back the tears. There is this question in my mind: Why? Harold didn’t deserve this. No innocent creature does…”.
This World Wombat Day, Wombat Awareness Organisation is launching its first 24 hour giving day to raise funds for food, emergency equipment and to continue to care for the wombats as the hot summer approaches. The organisation is hoping to raise $100,000 through an online fundraising campaign.
Quotes attributable to Brigitte Stevens, Founding Director of Wombat Awareness Organisation:
“Harold came here for a reason. We all hoped he was going to survive, instead he passed leaving a massive legacy of raising awareness of what wombats face in the wild”.
“Our organisation’s fundraiser this World Wombat Day will allow us to continue helping the most incredible animals in the world – the wombat!”.
To find out more and to contribute to the fundraiser, please visit www.wombatday.com.au.