LISTEN

Podcast: What's wombat mange and what's being done to save the marsupials

Coming across a wombat in the wild is a rare treat - they're usually shy creatures, and only come out at night.

But the cuddly furballs are in trouble, as individuals throughout their range are being disfigured by a parasite: mange. Their skin becomes concrete and cracks, they get fly blown and walk around with open wounds. They lose their hearing and their eyesight. They rot to death -- often dying from secondary infections, starvation, or from wandering blindly onto the road.

Marki the wombat was treated for mange in captivity. This is very rare. Picture: Supplied.

Marki the wombat was treated for mange in captivity. This is very rare. Picture: Supplied.

Wombats seem to be particularly vulnerable to mange -- an infestation of parasitic mites. Other animals usually just shake it off, but in wombats it has a 100 percent kill rate if left untreated.

I think once you see the pain that these animals are in, and when you see that the government's doing nothing, you just step up.

Melina Budden, Wombat Warrior

Some local populations of wombats have been nearly wiped out by mange.

With Voice of Real Australia meet the people fighting for this iconic species' future.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform. Just search Voice of Real Australia.

New to podcasts? See our article on how to listen to podcasts.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page, and sign up for the newsletter.

Do you have a story to share? Get in touch: voice@austcommunitymedia.com.au.

This story Wombats are rotting to death, meet the people trying to save them first appeared on The Canberra Times.