International Wombat Day | Let’s Learn About Them!

Oct 16, 2022by Gabby - F&F

October 22nd is an annual celebration of the adorable, chunky, bear-like wombat! In recognising this International day, let’s find out more about this unique Australian native marsupial.

Cute WombatCute Wombat

Image: Simo Muurinen

What Is International Wombat Day?

Koala’s have a day, so why not wombats? That’s what an unknown wombat fan decided when creating Wombat Day on October 22nd, 2005. Several years later, a man named Chris Mabe created a Facebook page for Wombat Day, so perhaps we should give him credit for the whole thing!

It is a day to celebrate this adorable Australian marsupial, and interestingly, October 22 was chosen because it’s around the time when spring planting occurs in Australia. Most wombat lovers celebrate the day in different ways. Some go to animal sanctuaries or the zoo to watch wombats, others wear a t-shirt or a sweatshirt with the image of the animal, and some bake wombat-shaped cakes and cookies — yum!

Backward Facing Wombat PouchBackward Facing Wombat Pouch

Image: Priscilla Kasidis

These Short And Stocky Marsupials Have A Backwards Facing Pouch!

Residing in southeastern Australia and Tasmania, there are three species of wombat; the common or bare-nosed wombat, and the southern and northern hairy-nosed wombats (you can tell them apart by whether or not their noses are… hairy!)

Wombats look like little bears and are in fact closely related to koalas, but they’re distinctively peculiar due to their pouches, where they shelter their young facing backward! You may think this biological design is silly or stupid, but it’s not — it’s actually extremely impressive. Wombats spend most of their time digging, creating extensive burrows. If the pouch faced forward, it would fill with dirt as the female digs with her powerful front legs and claws.


Image: Canva

Wombats Can Take 14 Days To Digest A Meal?!

Wombats do everything slowly. These stocky animals waddle when on land and paddle when swimming. They’re herbivores, with a complex digestive tract that allows them to eat the coarsest of plants, in fact, it can take up to 14 days for a wombat to digest a meal!

When they’ve finally digested their food, they leave a series of very distinctive, cube shapes pellets numbering up to one hundred per day (enough said here, but this is quite a popular topic on the internet).

Wombats may be slow, but they grow large. Spending most of their time feeding, they pack on the weight. Wombats can reach over a metre long and weigh up 36 kilograms, making wombats one of the world’s largest rodents!

How will you celebrate International Wombat Day? Have you ever celebrated Wombat Day before? Let us know in the comments below! We love that there is a dedicated day for this amusing Aussie creature.

For more stories about wildlife conservation in Australia and around the world, check out our Eco News category and the blogs below.

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