"Wet wombat weathers Woods Lake waters." Try saying that three times. While out fishing for trout at Woods Lake in central Tasmania recently, two locals caught something else entirely: a stranded hairy-nosed wombat.

Fisherman Craig Wilson and his stepfather Bob Wilton initially thought they'd spotted a fury creature of a different type. "The wombat was trying to stay afloat above the water, we thought it was a platypus because we could see the fur," recalls Wilson.

The wombat was about 250 meters from shore and clearly struggling. Eventually, the pair was able to get the tired animal into a fishing net and haul it aboard. "If we weren't there in the lake he would have drowned for sure, the way the wind was blowing, he would not have been able to make it back to shore."

Finally safe and sound, the wombat paced calmly around the boat until they made it back to land. After disembarking, it disappeared into the bush. 

So, despite what you've been told about everything in Australia being out to kill you, sometimes critters in the land down under need a helping hand. And by the way, did you know you can train a wombat to urinate on command? You really can.


Top header image: Dieter Bethke/Flickr