Who doesn’t love a cuddly critter?
Warm bodies and soft fur are hard to resist, but not all animals enjoy being petted.
In fact, some creatures can even find it threatening.
Wombats are amongst the many animals that do not like to be petted, for a number of reasons.
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What Are Wombats?
Wombats are animals that people used to think were related to bears, but they’re not.
They live in Australia and some parts of New Zealand. They have short tails, and their fur is really soft.
Wombats are marsupials, which means that they have pouches where their babies live.
The baby wombats stay in their mother’s pouch for about six months. When they’re born, they’re only about two centimeters long!
There are three different kinds of wombats:
- The common wombat is the biggest. It can grow to be about a meter long and weigh 35 kilograms.
- The southern hairy-nosed wombat is smaller, and it has softer fur.
- The third kind is the northern hairy-nosed wombat, but there are only about 100 of them left in the world.
Are Wombats Friendly?
Wombats in general are not very friendly.
In the wild, they live alone and only come together to mate. They’re nocturnal animals, so they sleep during the day and come out to eat at night.
Wombats are also very territorial. They mark their territory with urine, feces, and scratching trees.
The only time you might see a wombat being friendly is if it’s a baby and it’s trying to get its mother’s attention.
Other than that, they usually don’t like to be around humans.
In 2016 – A woman was violently attacked by a wombat. What started as a walk with her two dogs ended with more than 20 bites and scratches, several of which required stitches. Read all about it here.
Do Wombats Make Good Pets?
If you’re wondering if wombats like to be petted because you’re considering getting one as a pet, hold your horses.
Wombats do not make good pets for several reasons.
If you didn’t pause to read the article about the woman who was attacked by a wombat, you may have missed some of the important details.
Wombats are vicious creatures, and they won’t stop attacking until they are satisfied with the outcome or until something else intervenes.
Most of this aggression comes from being protective.
They are protective of their young, and protective of their spaces, so if you come too close that they feel threatened, they will attack.
Wombats are also very destructive creatures.
They like to dig, and they’re good at it too. If you have a wombat as a pet, be prepared for your yard to look like a war zone.
They will also try to dig their way into your house if they feel like it.
Your carpets, floors, doors, cupboards, and just about anything not made of concrete or metal will be fair game.
What about one of the biggest reasons to not keep a wombat as a pet?
It’s illegal. Keeping potentially dangerous exotic animals as pets is against the law in many places, and for good reason.
Wombats are native to Australia and since they are endangered, they are extremely protected.
It is absolutely forbidden to export wombats out of the country. There may be an exception made for repopulation efforts, but that’s about it.
Encountering a Wombat
Maybe you aren’t considering keeping a wombat as a pet, but perhaps you’re wondering if wombats like to be petted because you’ve encountered one.
The rest of this article has described wombats as dangerous creatures who under absolutely no circumstances like to be petted, and that is true.
There is one instance where you might encounter a wombat and have it be okay to pet.
In this section we’ll take a look at the only exception to wombats not liking being petted, and where you might encounter a wombat.
Hands-On At The Zoo
The most popular place you’d encounter a wombat in the U.S. is at a zoo.
If you’re lucky, the zoo you visit will have a hands-on exhibit where you can pet the animals.
Most zoos that have wombats also have other Australian animals like koalas and kangaroos. If you want to pet a wombat, your best bet is to find one of these zoos that offers hands-on experiences.
The difference between petting a wombat in one of these types of experiences and finding one in the wild is the age of the wombat.
At Young Ages – Wombats are adorable and docile and don’t have the aggression that their adult counterparts possess.
The only place you may accidentally stumble across a wombat is in Australia.
If you’re planning a trip, be warned that wild wombats are not to be messed with and their environment is to be respected.
Pay extra attention to see if a baby wombat, or a joey, is around.
Getting too close to a joey will upset the parents even more and make them feel more threatened. This could be bad news for you if you get too close.
Do not approach a wombat in the wild, and if you see one on the road, do not try to pet it or get close to it.
The best thing you can do is admire them from afar and leave them be.
So, if you’re still wondering “do wombats like to be petted?”, the answer is no.
Wombats are not friendly creatures, and they definitely do not make good pets.
If you’re looking for a cuddly marsupial to keep as a companion, you’re better off with a sugar glider.