My little orphan Maggie

Tania was determined to save this tiny baby wombat.
Tania Theuma

Tania Theuma, Don Valley, Vic

‘Scooping up the newborn, it was time for her bottle. Maggie was just 900 grams when she came into my care. She was a small and precious wombat.

As a veterinary nurse at Healesville Sanctuary, I help rehabilitate rescued animals.

Maggie had a hard start to life. She was thrown from her mum’s pouch after being hit by a car. Luckily, a passer-by noticed the pair on the side of the road and stopped to check on them.

He found Maggie running around her mother in a panic. She was covered in scratches and was severely dehydrated. Sadly, her mum didn’t survive, but Maggie was raced to our sanctuary. A vet discovered she’d suffered head trauma.

Unsure about the severity, we kept her safe and warm in a replica pouch. We hoped that by hand-raising her, she’d pull through.

For the first week, it was touch and go. She was quite distressed and wouldn’t feed. ‘Please keep fighting little one,’ I said.

Another keeper, Jess, 
and I took turns taking Maggie home. With round the clock feeds using a special formula, she thrived and started to gain weight.

‘Please keep fighting little one,’ I said.

After six months, Maggie was strong enough to stay 
at the sanctuary overnight.

But we had a really special bond. She’s such 
an affectionate girl who loves a cuddle and a belly rub. She’s like my baby!

Tania nursing Maggie
We fed her with a bottle – just like any baby! (Credit: Tania Theuma)

Almost a year on, Maggie is now a happy and healthy wombat weighing 8.7 kilos. Visitors can spend 
time with her as part of 
the Sanctuary’s Magic Moments encounter.

If anyone finds a baby wombat on the side of the road, we encourage you to call for help and wrap them in a blanket to keep them warm. It’s so rewarding to be able to save animals 
like my Maggie!

Originally published in that’s life! Issue 29, 2016.

Maggie the wombat
Maggie is now healthy and happy. (Credit: Tania Theuma)

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