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Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary Help Warrawong design a wombat enclosure.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by zee, 4 Jul 2017.

  1. zee

    zee Member

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    Hi Crew,

    I'm staff at the newly rebought Warrawong sanctuary in Adelaide. We've been offered a wombat ad we are now trying to design a new enclosure. I was planning on stopping at a few parks for inspiration but we are running out of time. We really like the idea of visible dens and night time lock in. I do like macadamia castles design. We are really trying for a more natural look but also something that is visitor friendly. Any ideas and designs appreciated.
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  3. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

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    There are a few photos in the Moonlit Sanctuary gallery of their wombat exhibit that features metal rods driven straight into the ground for a few metres and it is probably the most unique exhibit that I've seen for them.

    Edit: I had this page open while I ate lunch and by the time I got around to posting, Chlidonias had beaten me to it.
     
  4. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen the Moonlight enclosures until now - the fencing idea is great. Simple design from a cheap/easily obtainable material. Doesn't distract from the main attractions!
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it is a great design. It is a lot cheaper than traditional methods (mentioned in my comment on the photos), as well as looking a lot nicer because it isn't just solid walls - and in Australian wildlife parks the solid walls are usually colorbond or something (non-Australians may need to Google that).
     
  6. zee

    zee Member

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    Hi guys,
    We have contacted the moonlight sanctuary and although we like the lack of colour bond the enclosure itself looks run down? Boring? Empty?
    We've had qoutes to get it done ad it turned out to be absolutely ridiculous.
     
  7. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    If you want to keep wombats then that's what you get. They dig extensively and will eat any grass in the enclosure. Most wombat enclosures consist of mounds of dirt and holes but they didn't start that way. Wombats can also be destructive, with sharp teeth and very powerful legs. I haven't been to Moonlight Sanctuary but those photos certainly show one of the better wombat exhibits I've seen.

    And the wombats will sleep all day, which contributes to the boring exhibit impression. That can be alleviated somewhat by scheduled feedings during the day, but in between the wombat is likely to go back to sleep.

    One of the nicest-looking exhibits I saw was a very large enclosure with 75% of it grassed with kikuyu (just like a lawn) and 25% a large sandpit. The enclosure had only been opened a few days and had some young wombats in it, with keepers interacting with them the whole time (I think they were supervising the wombats and conditioning them for human interactions). The wombats wanted to dig in the grass and the keepers were stopping them and trying to encourage them to dig in the sand, but the wombats were stubborn and wanted the grass, thank goodness. For those of you that don't know, wombats in zoos given nothing but sand to dig in have died when the 'burrows' have collapsed on them and they suffocated.

    I don't know what that exhibit looks like now but Imagine it's also bare and looking empty.

    :p

    Hix
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    well, I can only say that I was just there a few weeks ago and none of those three descriptives of how the enclosures look apply in my opinion.
     
  9. zee

    zee Member

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    Well I guess that is fair enough. From the photos its a few logs? Maybe a bit more now. :)
     
  10. zee

    zee Member

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    Yes, do have some experience with wombats. ;) Australia zoo and a few other places have found locking them up at night seems to cause less destruction?
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I dunno. You do know wombats are nocturnal right? Seems kind of like "hey we'll build this enclosure for them to mostly be asleep in, but then when they're active lets lock them in a much smaller space" means your "some experience with wombats" might be lacking some perspective on animal care...
     
  12. zee

    zee Member

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    They aren't small lock up spaces and they are provided with things to do. I'm just asking opinions and stating what other parks have done. Yes I know wombats are nocturnal. Thanks for your passive attitude. Helpful.
     
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I was responding to the content of your posts. You seemed to be saying you wanted "attractive" enclosures but only from the viewpoint of the visitors without the wombats being able to use them as wombats do.
     
  14. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Either way, a separate holding yard or lock-up area is essential for cleaning the enclosure without the wombat attacking you.

    :p

    HIx
     
  15. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Many a keeper have not given wombats enough respect upon entering their enclosures! Most common bite was high on the inside thigh - ouch. Luckily in my experience of working with wombats, the idea was to always get in and out relatively smartly. Not that 'our' pair were nasty, just not to be trusted.
    I would also add that I wouldn't advocate the idea of 'locking' up wombats during the night. That should be the time they are given maximum time to stretch their legs. If you want a chance of grass growing, make the exhibit as big as you can.
     
  16. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    Chlidonias pointed you a good design. Take a big yard and surround it with a fence or poles extending circa 1,5 meter underground.
    Rocks or tree trunks/stumps would be welcome, you can place food on these so wombats will climb on and show off.
    Any existing trees or shrubs are great, although wombats might uproot and kill them.
    You may advertise feeding times at the entrance of the zoo, to maximize chances that visitors will see active wombats.
    You may also have some imaginative information board outside.
    Look-into sleeping dens lighted with red light are likely not practical, because wombats in an outdoor enclosure would dig different dens themselves.
    If you have lots of money, you might think of some concrete crawl-in hole for children, but it is a bit tricky thing to design in an interesting way.
    Aussie members might know more whether wombats get on with other species. Would they be compatible with some wallaby species in any but very big exhibit?
     
  17. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Wild Life Sydney keeps a wombat with yellow-footed rock wallabies.
     
  18. Zarah

    Zarah New Member

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    Suggestion: Dens with glass viewing so visitors will actually see them sleeping all day. Have that open onto a grass "pretty" exhibit for day use and a back enclosure with as much dirt as they can dig all night long. Keep in mind wombats are far more agile and cheeky then they look