Stress is the big killer

In First Aid at Home, Orphans in Care by Jen Mattingley

It is important to get as much history as possible from the rescuer or member of public that hands over the orphan. This will help you to make the right decisions on how the joey should be handled.

When a new orphan first arrives you need to be aware of everything you do. Don’t forget the wombat will not be used to your environment!

  • Be gentle
  • Minimal handling
  • Quiet 

Be aware of household noises, the wombat will not be used to these new surroundings.

  • Phone ringing
  • Loud voices
  • TV
If the wombat has just been orphaned/injured.

Maybe it will be best left alone for a few hours in a warm, quiet, secure environment.  This will give it time to settle.
Has it been alone for hours/days already – if so it will need immediate attention ie.  re-hydrated and warmed up
Do not attempt to feed an orphan until it is warm. (it won’t be able to drink if it’s in a semi-conscious state)

How to warm a joey
  • Aid of a heat pad
  • Warmed wheat bags
  • Water bottles
  • Warmed wraps
  • Gentle massaging with warm hands to stimulate blood flow.
Your wombat may not be feeding well because of STRESS !
  • Are you handling it correctly?
  • Make sure your baby is warm, secure and wrapped snug in a pouch.
  • Are you housing it correctly?

You may have it all wrong!  If we all have the same practices we can reduce stress considerably ( i.e. in the case of an animal needing to be handed over to another carer in an emergency)


  • Refusing to drink
  • Hair loss (this will be evident over a period of time)
  • Hiccups/squealing  (too much excitement when playing)


  • Inappropriate housing
  • Excessive heat/cold
  • Loud noises/voices
  • Handling/rough jerky movements
  • Pain

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Relaxed little wombats snug and secure in their pouches.