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Wombats Are Saving Other Animals From The Drought in Australia By Digging Craters

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    Carnivore - The Missing Year

    It seems that their help wasn't entirely incidental either, since they had not made the holes the sizes that they normally need for themselves, but had expanded on of them to an enormous size, making it seem more like a "crater". The crater is located at Ted Finnie's farm, and according to Finnie's estimates, the hole "is now around 20 meters (65.6 feet) in diameter and four meters deep."

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    Finnie had explained that a camera captured birds, goannas, possums, echidnas and emus drinking water at the hole. And those animals are additions to the wombats, kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos who were already frequently drinking there. "[T]he wombats' construction work appears to have encouraged new guests to the area."

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    Vertebrate - SALLA WILD

    "It's almost like the wombats are water diviners, they're finding the water and digging the holes to get to the water and the other animals are taking advantage of it," said Associate Professor Julie Old, a biologist at Western Sydney University. Having visited the hole herself, Old said that she had never seen anything like it- that is doesn't know of any other incidents of wombats digging for water like this. 

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    Dr. Michael Swinbourne, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide, added: "I wouldn't say that wombats are "happy" about sharing with other animals, but they will "tolerate" them as long as they don't disturb the wombat too much." Generally, wombats tend to be solitary creatures, but they do share spaces with close relatives of theirs. They have been seen, in the past, with other species, including reptiles, rodents, echidnas and koalas.

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    Smile - 13

    "We have images of penguins sheltering in a wombat burrow to escape the attention of a sea eagle," Swinbourne said. The disasters in Australia during this severe fire season are awful and have caused an enormous amount of damage, so a positive story like this one is a more than welcome distraction. Though things are dire, we are happy to see not only humans trying to help other animals, but animals helping other animals as well. 

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    To read more stories of unlikely heroes, read about a parrot saving his owner from a fire.

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