Manda in her new den at the Macadamia Castle with keeper James Kelly.
Manda in her new den at the Macadamia Castle with keeper James Kelly. Jasmine Burke

Maca Castle welcomes new furry excavator

THE Macadamia Castle's newest member, Manda - a four-year-old bare nosed wombat - was welcomed with a smoking and naming ceremony yesterday.

Manda means "scratch your skin" in Bundjalung dialect.

Raised in a family who found her as a joey on the side of the road, she was treated with affection as a pet and hand-reared for the first year of her life until Adelaide Zoo gave her a new home in their children's zoo area.

Now her new enclosure hosts a sandpit, grassy area, tunnel and an air conditioned den.

 

Head zoo-keeper, Nick Bourke said although a little shy, she is settling in well since she arrived six days ago.

"We went through a process to make sure Adelaide Zoo were happy with our facilities, which they thought were far more superior to theirs," Mr Bourke said.

"So far she's been exploring, walked the perimeter to see if she can get out and chewed on most things to see what was edible."

"Wombat awareness is really important... critically we could see them disappear in 20 years time.

The main reason is sarcoptic mange, the mite that was introduced when we introduced the fox, and conflict with farming communities he said.

"In captivity the eldest wombat lived to 26 but teenage years is pretty long lived for most of our mammals."



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