Little Rupert was no more than three months old and weighed just 260g when he was rescued from his dead mother's pouch after she'd been killed by a car near Yarck in country Victoria.
He was brought to Healesville Sanctuary where the veterinary team cared for him before handing him over to dedicated wildlife carer Sue Samphier.
"Sue often picks up orphans from the Sanctuary and came straight over, " Dr Rupert Baker, Senior Veterinarian, Healesville Sanctuary said. "Sue has done an amazing job fostering him ever since."
Little Rupert, who Sue named after the Sanctuary's vet, needs to be fed every four hours around the clock with a special Wombat milk and kept nice and warm until he grows fur over the next three months. He will remain in Sue's care until he reaches almost two years of age when he will be big enough to fend for himself back in the wild.
When asked, Sue said that it's never sad returning them back into the wild as it gives her a great sense of achievement. "Most wombats at around two years of age turn into feral teenagers and start biting your ankles, so you know it's time for them to move on. "
Sue Samphier has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over three years and runs a Wildlife Shelter in Mt Evelyn. This has been a particularly busy year with so many orphaned Possums and Wombats and displaced Kangaroos. The Australian Wildlife Health Centre sees more than 1500 animals each year. "With so many sick and injured animals coming in, Healesville Sanctuary has become my second home and I am eternally grateful to the dedicated team that works there," Sue said.
Many marsupials have pouch young at this time of the year so it's important to check the pouches of road trauma wildlife. Anyone seeking advice can call the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary on 59 57 2829 during business hours seven days a week or RACV Wildlife Connect on 13 11 11 which is a 24 hour service.