We Had No Idea How Much We Loved Baby Wombats Until This Very Moment


Last week, I posted an article from deep within a YouTube hole where train-spotters post their latest videos. Today: baby wombats. I saw this clip of an adorable baby wombat approaching a man pop up in my Facebook feed, and boy, is it very, very cute:

There are a ton of baby wombat videos on YouTube. Watch energetic wombats Jojo and DJ frolic after a feed in this video shot at the “Wild About Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center”, in Victoria, Australia.

And, for a more serious take, watch Stephanie Clark and Wayne White, wildlife rehabilitators, talk about the long road to recovery for “Tunna”—orphaned as a baby after his mom was hit by a car—and the intricacies of releasing him back into the wild. Five months later, he’s strong and healthy:

Of course, cars on Australia’s long bush roads, while deadly, aren’t the only threat to wombats. Australia’s wombats are also threatened by climate change, and encroaching development. The Northern Hairy-Nose Wombat, the world’s largest burrowing herbivore, is one of the most endangered species on the planet (there are only about 200 of them), and is therefore especially vulnerable to climate shifts and severe weather. Droughts can also force wildlife like wombats into direct competition with domesticated animals for food. As temperatures rise in Australia, the country’s various species of wombat will experience a shift in their habitats, both in size and altitude.

Now, back to the baby wombats:

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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