BALLARAT’S wombassador Patrick celebrated his 29th birthday in style this week.
BALLARAT’S wombassador Patrick celebrated his 29th birthday this week with plenty of attention.
The Ballarat Wildlife Park star is the oldest common wombat in captivity and had numerous cakes to mark the milestone.
Park manager Stuart Parker said some of his earliest memories included Paddy and he was part of the family.
Patrick first came into the hands of the Parker family when his mother was hit by a car. Patrick survived as a joey in her pouch.
“He’s been here pretty much since the park started.”
Mr Parker said they attempted to release him into the wild a few times.
“He kept being found bitten and wounded by other wombats, so we applied for a permit to keep him.”
Patrick was about two when he became a permanent member at the park, and hasn’t looked back.
“He’s not built for the wild. He’s way too soft.”
At the park, he has his own enclosure unable to mix with other wombats.
“We could never breed from him, because the females would be too rough.”
He said he would come back to the house with the family of an evening and be somewhat like a family dog.
“He used to pull off all the cupboard doors in the annex.”
Mr Parker said he was now retired and just did what he wanted to.
“He’ll go for a walk around the park when he wants to and goes back to his closure when he gets tired.
“He doesn’t show many signs of aging, he just does as he pleases.”
Patrick used to hop in the car when the Parkers were going out.
In one instance, while he was left in the car he climbed onto the drivers seat and up behind the steering wheel, knocked the car into gear and drove through a fence.
He also broke a brand new television, knocking it over while using its stand as a scratching post.
“He’s not a typical wombat. He’s very gentle and very easy going.”
Patrick has seen international media attention over his life, and in the past week has been featured in about 15 media outlets for his birthday celebrations.
Mr Parker said there had been two animals at the park which had grown to be part of the family, Patrick and Gator who died last year.
“We’ll have to make it big for his 30th.”
Patrick now has his own Facebook page, which has gained momentum this week receiving 8500 more likes.