There is a tiny new arrival at the Australian Reptile Park winning hearts of all the staff – World, meet 8-month-old Holly the baby wombat! Holly is being called a Christmas miracle as she was taken under the care of keepers to be hand raised after being found in her deceased mother’s pouch.

Sadly, Holly’s mother suffered a fate all too common for wombats and wildlife all around Australia, she was hit by a car. In many cases, tiny joeys are left unharmed inside and often suffer a similar demise unless a passerby checks the pouch. Thankfully someone did this time, and Holly is able to be looked after and now live a long life.

Mammal keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, Hewin Hochkins has taken on the role of surrogate “mum” in the early stages of her new life, providing her with around the clock care (including a bottle feed at 2am!) and all the cuddles she needs. She now lives in an artificial knitted pouch and will remain under care until keepers decide if she will be healthy and strong enough to be released to the wild.

Australian Reptile Park Director Tim Faulkner says “It’s hard to predict an outcome when we get handed in precious little wombats like Holly. We don’t know if she has been exposed to disease, if she’s malnourished or injured after the car accident. Thankfully, Holly is full of life and energy! She is thriving under the care of Hewin and really is a Christmas miracle!”

Mr Faulkner goes on to explain “Cars are one of the biggest threats to Aussie wildlife. We urge people to slow down in wildlife areas as it is animals like Holly the public will be protecting. So many animals are killed by vehicles each year and if we all took a little more care, we can decrease the number dramatically! There will be a lot more people on the road this holiday season so we need to ensure everyone is doing their best.”

Visitors will be able to see Holly make occasional appearances at the Park during the Summer school holidays with staff taking her for walks and bringing her out to meet visitors for small portions of the day.