Coming across a wombat in the wild is a rare treat - they're usually shy creatures, and only come out at night.
But the cuddly furballs are in trouble, as individuals throughout their range are being disfigured by a parasite: mange. Their skin becomes concrete and cracks, they get fly blown and walk around with open wounds. They lose their hearing and their eyesight. They rot to death -- often dying from secondary infections, starvation, or from wandering blindly onto the road.
Wombats seem to be particularly vulnerable to mange -- an infestation of parasitic mites. Other animals usually just shake it off, but in wombats it has a 100 percent kill rate if left untreated.
I think once you see the pain that these animals are in, and when you see that the government's doing nothing, you just step up.Melina Budden, Wombat Warrior
Some local populations of wombats have been nearly wiped out by mange.
With Voice of Real Australia meet the people fighting for this iconic species' future.
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