Cathy Adams

Life in the fast lane kills Diesel

HE MAY not have had a long life, but he had a good life.

That was the assessment of Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding when he passed on the news that one of their star attractions, Diesel the wombat , died yesterday.

In fact a quick search of The Northern Star archives shows Diesel hanging out with supermodel Elle Macpherson and having air conditioning installed in his enclosure.

Diesel died from a stomach condition that was probably the result of his pampered upbringing. He was just three years old whereas wombats can often live to be 20.

"We always knew he'd be here for a good time, not a long time," Mr Gilding said.

Diesel was rescued from his mother's pouch from a roadside near Lithgow in 2010 and was brought up in an environment where he was part of the family. This included being bathed, sitting on the couch watching TV and eating a range of foods that are not part of a common wombat diet.

When he was about 18 months he got too big for his adopted family and was brought to the Macadamia Castle.

The diagnosis was that because of his unusual upbringing, he never got the proper gut flora that he would have got in the wild, allowing him to eat Australian native foods. Young wombats normally get this by eating their mother's faeces.

Mr Gilding said that if anyone finds any injured wildlife, they should contact WIRES and not try to care for it themselves.



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