HE’S 29 years old and weighs 38kg and has become Australia’s unlikely hero. Meet Patrick, the world’s oldest and seriously cute wombat.
WHO would have thought a 29-year-old wombat weighing 38kg would become a social media phenomenon overnight.
Patrick the wombat, believed to be the largest and oldest living common wombat in the world, sent social media into over drive after Tourism Australia posted a birthday message to him on Facebook.
Within 24 hours the big friendly giant of a wombat had received 258,000 “likes” winning the hearts of millions of fans from around the world. It also helped Tourism Australia reach 6 million Facebook fans.
The post generated 30,000 shares and 8,000 comments including several from people who had met Patrick over the years.
“OMG!!! I met him approx. 25 years ago! Happy Birthday sweet little man. You are the reason I have loved wombats for all these years Big Kisses to you!!!!” said Amy Robinson.
A long term resident of Ballarat Wildlife Park, Patrick was hand raised after being orphaned as a tiny baby.
“We always knew that Patrick was a very special wombat, but the huge social media response that he has received this week is incredible. Since Tourism Australia posted about Patrick yesterday, his Facebook page has grown by over 4,500 new followers and he has attracted the attention of television news media. It’s safe to say that his birthday this year will be extended into a week of celebrations here at Ballarat Wildlife Park” said the park’s social media manager Lauren Rix.
The team tried releasing Patrick back into the wild a couple of times over the years, however he couldn’t defend himself against other wombats so he became a permanent resident of the Ballarat Wildlife Team.
Acting as front of house in his younger years, Patrick would greet visitors in the car park from his wheelbarrow. Today he has given up his work duties and is enjoying his retirement and carrots from wellwishers.