Weak Little Wombat Was Hiding The Saddest Secret Inside His Body

"I caught him in my jumper and swept him to safety."

A very weak wombat was dragging himself along the side of a road in Australia, when he was spotted by the exact right person.

7 News Adelaide/Facebook

Brigitte Stevens, founder of the Wombat Awareness Organization, was out looking for wombats she could save after something terrible happened to wombats in the area.

"He was struggling to move and going directly towards where his home [had been]," Stevens wrote on Facebook. "I caught him in my jumper and swept him to safety."

Rescued wombat
Wombat Awareness Organization

Wombats dig elaborate homes underground to protect themselves from heat and predators. They live and mate in these underground homes — so when a Good Samaritan noticed a large piece of land where someone had plugged up many burrow entrance holes with dirt, they alerted wildlife officials.  

Rescued wombat gets pets
Wombat Awareness Organization

Wildlife officials are investigating the incident, which is being called one of the largest culls of wombats ever. Wombats are considered by some landowners to be pests, but a permit is required to kill them, and it's supposed to be done humanely. There's also a quota for how many can be killed — a difficult number to trace if their burrows were simply filled with dirt with many wombats still inside. Officials will test the bodies of some dead wombats to try to see if they were buried alive or already dead when they were buried.

"Every burrow on the property has been bulldozed," Stevens wrote. "Should the property owner not be held accountable for every single death?" Unfortunately, the only way to establish how many wombats were killed is to reopen the burrows, which the officials have declined to do. 

"The only magic moment from this was me catching this darling," Stevens wrote about the injured wombat she saved.

Rescued wombat recovering
Wombat Awareness Organization

Stevens rushed to get the little wombat, whom she named Bear, the urgent veterinary care he needed. Bear, who had obviously been blinded in his right eye, was given an X-ray so people could see what was giving him so much pain.

"Bear has two bullets in his chest cavity," Stevens told The Dodo.

Rescued wombat
Wombat Awareness Organization

But Stevens is doing everything she can to help him get better, wrapping him up in blankets and bottle-feeding him.

Rescued wombat nurses from bottle
Wombat Awareness Organization

While so many others were hurt and killed by people, at least this one was saved by a woman's act of kindness.

"I am sending love and gratitude to every single one of you that sparked action," Stevens wrote.

To help Bear get stronger and help the Wombat Awareness Organization stand up for animals like him, you can make a donation. You can also sign a petition urging the government to continue the search underground for surviving wombats.