A family in NSW’s Central West say they are lucky to be alive after they were viciously attacked by a “terminator-like” wombat.
Jeanette Ambrose, 78, lives in the bush near Dubbo and regularly interacts with and cares for native animals.
She has been living on the property, known as Daybreak Wildlife Sanctuary, for 40 years and during that time she hand-reared some of the wombats that played the character Fatso on the long-running series A Country Practice.
Jeanette is no stranger to the iconic Aussie marsupial, which is why she was delighted when her daughter Kim, who was in a cabin on the property, called her one morning to tell her there was a wombat wandering around.
But just moments later Jeanette discovered this particular wombat was out for blood.
“He looked up at me and just dived to get past me and I held him for along time while screaming out to Nazarena my 11-year-old great granddaughter ‘not to let him get you’, and then he started biting me,” the 78-year-old told Dubbo Photo News.
“He’d bite pieces of my leg and so she ran to get help, meanwhile he was biting me up to my knees.”
Kim, who was still recovering after recently breaking her ankle, rushed out of her cabin after hearing the screams and found the wombat mauling her mum.
As soon as the animal locked eyes on Kim it rushed and knocked her over before viciously ripping into the back of her legs.
“I shoved my hand down to protect myself, offering him my hand because I knew he was going to keep gouging,” she told the newspaper.
“He was near my femoral artery so I had to have the guts to shove my hand down so then he got my finger and bit down until he exposed the bone.”
By this point, Kim’s daughter Gemma had been woken up and rushed outside in her pyjamas to see what all the commotion was.
After realising her family was under attack from a bloodthirsty beast she sprung into action, grabbing a plank of wood and hitting the wombat in an attempt to save her mum.
Her action succeeded in getting the wombat off Kim, but it meant the marsupial’s attention was now on her.
The animal knocked her over and started biting her legs, thighs and bum, with Gemma saying she was “screaming for my life”.
“It’s like he knew where to bite, he was in for the kill, he was totally in for the kill,” she said.
Jeanette agreed, telling Dubbo Photo News that in that moment they thought they might not make it out alive. She said the wombat was so vicious it would have “bitten our noses off” if it reached their faces.
Kim thought her daughter was going to die as she watched the wombat continue its attack.
Despite having just re-broken her ankle, she hobbled over, grabbed a shove, and hit the wombat.
The animal lunged at Kim, pushing her to the ground. It was at this point that she knew had to do.
“All of a sudden I understood I had to grab him by the ear and head and lie on his back. It was watching Steve Irwin wrestle crocodiles that made me think of it,” she said.
By now Gemma’s husband, who was working inside, had been alerted to the attack, as had one of the neighbours.
The two men helped Kim hold the wombat down as Jeanette ran to grab an axe and put an end to the animal’s reign of terror.
During all the commotion Jeanette’s great granddaughter had called the ambulance and paramedics arrived to help the family.
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Originally published as ‘In for the kill’: Wombat terrorises family