Australia’s wildlife has a reputation for terror. Even koalas can get belligerent from time to time. But Derek the orphaned wombat just wants cuddles. Now, one lucky person can deliver: Tourism officials in Tasmania are taking applications for the region’s first Chief Wombat Cuddler, according to UPI.
If you are unfamiliar with wombats, they are the largest burrowing mammals and can attain impressive size and age. But Derek (or Derrick, depending who you ask) is still a baby. For the last three months, the orphan has been in the care of Flinders Island resident Kate Mooney, also known as The Wombat Lady. Mooney says Derek’s mother was hit by a car in December. When Mooney went to check on the wombat, she found Derek still in his mother’s pouch. A video of the survivor romping across one of the island’s beaches has gone viral, making Derek a very popular marsupial.
Seeing an opportunity, the local tourism board has organized a sweet contest, giving affectionate humans the chance to win a three-day trip to Flinders Island and the opportunity to give the orphaned wombat lots and lots of love. Sadly, the contest is open only to Australian residents.
All you have to do is visit the Tourism Tasmania website and explain in 25 words or less why you’d be the right choice for Chief Wombat Cuddler. For obvious reasons, the rules stipulate that "non-cuddlers need not apply."
Header image from YouTube // Discover Tasmania