Despite the catastrophic drought plaguing the rest of the country, wombats in New South Wales are providing assistance to dozens of other species in their search for water.
According to the accounts in the local news, the cute-looking animals broke onto Ted Finnie’s beef farm and began digging underground in the direction of a secret water supply.
According to ABC Australia, the farm is located approximately 19 miles (30 kilometers) down the Hunter Valley, which has received very little rainfall over the course of the past three years.
The constant tunneling done by the wombats over such a long period of time resulted in the formation of a crater that was 20 meters (65.6 feet) in diameter and four meters (13 feet) deep.
“The wombats have burrowed to get closer to the water and so they’ve gone underground a little bit,” said Finnie to local reporters, who also reported regularly seeing wallabies, wallaroos, and kangaroos.
“As the crater has dried out due to the drought the wombats have burrowed to get closer to the water and so they’ve gone underground a little bit,” said Finnie.
According to researcher Julie Old, who began researching the location, there has never been a documented instance of wombats digging for water.
This finding is quite astonishing. Wombats dig their burrows along the banks of creeks or in small ditches that are located under trees because the roots of the trees provide additional support for the tunnel.
The Wombat Soak possesses none of these qualities in any form.
According to an interview with ABC Australia conducted by Old, “We commonly call wombats ecological engineers because they are creating burrows and they make habitat for other creatures.”
Some animals have even been found sharing tunnels with the traditionally solitary wombat, however their interactions with the wombat were not very friendly.
When the fire season came around, many wombat tunnels were discovered to contain different species that were seeking refuge from the flames. This was the case.
Thomas Hobbes, who famously described nature as being “red in tooth and claw,” most likely never encountered a wombat, a species that is now being hailed as heroes for their life-saving assistance in these difficult conditions.
Wombats have been credited with saving the lives of a number of other animals.