Ooh the wombat is amazing! They are so cute and so full of attitude! These gentle, vegetarian marsupials are burrow dwellers with a powerful jaw for gnawing through plants. Their teeth are also very helpful for digging their extensive tunnel systems along with their powerful claws. Because of their burrowing, they have a backwards facing pouch to avoid filling it with dirt. They tend to have one baby at a time which is born in the spring. After about seven months they leave the pouch and are weaned after 15 months.
Their burrows protect them from fire and the heat of the day but also from predators. They are mostly at risk from attacks by dingoes and tasmanian devils. To escape, they will go into their tunnel and stand with their bums facing the entrance. They have a big layer of cartilage and muscle on their back and if a predator tries to grab them this will protect them from too much pain. They also let the attacker get close and then they ram this hard shield into the top of the tunnel! These endearing, slow moving creatures are fully prepared to use a bit of violence to protect themselves.
This layer of muscle and cartilage is also used in communication – babies will nip and bite at it to talk to their mum.
They are lovely, chilled out animals which mooch along and yet below the surface is a bit of attitude and a bit of fiestiness. These “ground koalas” have a tendency to head butt their way past obstacles.
When a female enters oestrus she becomes active and aggressive. Mating has been observed in captive wombats; the female attacked the male for about 30 minutes before allowing him to mate. The mating lasted for about 30 minutes with both male and female laying on their sides. In the wild, the courtship consists of the female being chased by the male in wide circles. The male then bites the female’s rump and rolls her over on her side. After several minutes the female breaks away and resumes the chasing behaviour. This action can be repeated several times within about 30 minutes.
– Australian Museum
In one dreaming story, wombat and kangaroo were both competitive about their homes. Each thought theirs was the best; the wombat’s underground and protecting him from terrible weather, the kangaroo’s in the open air where he could watch the stars and enjoy a gentle breeze. One stormy night kangaroo decided he wanted to be in the safety of the wombats burrow and went to stay with wombat, uninvited and unannounced. Kangaroo got frustrated and angry and annoyed after his difficult night and ended up hitting wombat on the head which is why wombat has a flat head today. In retaliation, wombat threw a spear at kangaroo, which made his tail.
This story and the importance of home to the wombat (they spend about 2/3 of their life in their burrow) may be asking you to think about your own home, your safe place, your nest. And once you have found this place of comfort, you may need to gently, but firmly, enforce your boundaries.