It’s a bittersweet day for everyone at the Australian Reptile Park today as Poppy the wombat leaves the Park to begin her journey to return to the wild. The tiny wombat arrived at the Australian Reptile Park in late 2021, weighing just 3kg, after her mother was hit by a car and little Poppy was found on the side of the road.

Poppy received ‘round-the-clock care from Keepers at the Central Coast wildlife park, requiring 3am bottle feeds and copious amounts of cuddles. She soon gained her confidence and was quickly known as the cheeky little wombat that won the hearts of the nation, with videos of Poppy reaching over 3 million views on social media.

Poppy has officially left the Park and is now living in the wild at Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue. She is currently residing in a large enclosure where she will eventually be reintroduced into the wild in a safe, semi-wild habitat and able to live out her life surrounded by all her wombat friends, including the one and only famous George the Wombat who also resides at the sanctuary.

Head Mammals Keeper, Hewin Hochkins, said “We are sad to see Poppy go, and we all miss her already! I know we’re not supposed to have favourites, but Poppy is really special. She’s got such a beautiful personality and loves a cuddle but also has a cheeky side that we all love.

“It was really hard saying goodbye to her but I know that she’s in good hands at Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue. They’ll be there every step of the way to guide her back to living life as a wild wombat,” he added.

“Thanks to Poppy and her rise to fame, she was a huge ambassador to Australian wildlife. It is so important for Australians and international audiences to see just how glorious our native wildlife is – Australia has the fastest mammal extinction rate in the world. Australian wildlife needs this kind of exposure to help people fall in love wildlife so they can join us by helping protect it,” Mr Hochkins concluded.