A sad day for the Australian Reptile Park, as they farewelled “Australia’s Most Adorable Animal” George the wombat. Yesterday George was released back to the wild at Cedar Creek Wombat Sanctuary, after being rehabilitated at the Australian Reptile Park. George became an internet sensation after videos of George and the Australian Reptile Park General Manager, Tim Faulkner bonding were posted online. Every posted video regularly reached more than 50 million views all over the world.
George got his title “Australia’s Most Adorable Animal” in September 2017, when he won an online poll run by Experience Oz, after which, George was given a Facebook page where he gained almost 6,500 followers in just a few months. Faulkner explains that while the wombat will be missed, he is better off in the sanctuary:
“We are sad to see George, go and miss him already! There will always be that empty space beside my desk where he used to sleep now. But he is ready. Cedar Creek Wombat Sanctuary won’t know what will hit them when George arrives!” he said.
According to Faulkner, George’s fame has helped Australian wildlife by exposing our native wildlife to an international audience. He explains:
“We are faced with the fastest mammal extinction rate in the world, and Australian wildlife needs this kind of exposure to help people fall in love wildlife so they can join us by helping protect it.”
George first came to the Australian Reptile Park after he was found still inside his dead mother’s pouch. Tragically, his mother had been hit by a car and was killed. Luckily, a passer-by stopped to check the wombat’s pouch, where they discovered George. George was immediately brought to the Australian Reptile Park where Tim Faulkner became his ‘step-in’ mother, feeding and cuddling the joey when needed.
Image: Tim Faulkner and The Australian Reptile Park
Saying goodbye to George may have been hard for The Australian Reptile Park, but as Faulkner explains in the end, the wombat was beneficial for our native wildlife.
“George has helped put wombats on the map!”
Lead Image: Tim Faulkner and The Australian Reptile Park