Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ballarat’s furry ‘wombassador’

Patrick the wombat being wheeled around to meet his fans. –Ballarat Wildlife Park

Patrick the wombat being wheeled around to meet his fans. –Ballarat Wildlife Park

He is probably one of the cutest individuals to ever take on ambassadorial duties.

BALLARAT Wildlife Park’s most well-known and well-loved star, Patrick the wombat, turned 29 on Aug 9 – making him the oldest-known bare-nosed wombat in the world!

Just one year shy of the “Big 3” and a veteran resident of the park, the “wombassador” still remains a crowd favourite. The long-time resident of Victoria continues to attract the attention of thousands of people from around the world, and has even met celebrities such as Nicolas Cage, Kirstie Alley and Kim Cattrall.

In fact, Patrick is no stranger to stardom – a photo of him that was posted on Reddit earlier this year received more than 600,000 views, making him an overnight global Internet sensation.

According to the park’s managing director Greg Parker, Patrick – or “Paddy” as he is fondly called – has come a long way since he was first found by the roadside back in 1986.

“He was a rascal then,” says Parker. “Once he was in the car and climbed over to the driver’s side, putting the car in gear, and drove it right through the neighbour’s fence.”

He was also named as one of the greatest city mascots in the world by CNN recently – making him the only wombat in the world to receive this honour.

The oldest Common wombat in captivity, Patrick still enjoys his wheelbarrow rides and is regularly wheeled around the park to meet and mingle with visitors.

Located just over an hour by road or rail from Melbourne, Ballarat is Victoria’s third largest city. Its rich history began with the Gold Rush in 1851, as it was home to the richest alluvial goldfield in the world. While the gold has long run out, the city retains much of its rich gold heritage in the form of fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

You can also get to know Patrick through his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Patrickthewombat), and go to www.wildlifepark.com.au to find out more about Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Tags / Keywords: Patrick , Common wombat , Ballarat Wildlife Park , Victoria , mascot


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