Short, hairy, bulky… and depressed

By Ruth Limkin

A heart-warming ending to a mysterious ailment has been reported today.

The aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, and the closure of many tourist operations, had an unintended affect on the mental health of a wombat called Tonka.

Losing 20% of his body weight, Tonka had his carers alarmed with his mysterious illness, and after extensive checks, finally discovered that the wombat was depressed due to a lack of his usual level of contact with people.

Having been hand-reared, and used to daily interaction with the public, Tonka grew melancholy as the Townsville wildlife park he called home was closed for eight weeks after Cyclone Yasi.

However, since his diagnosis, he has been lavished with affection and is bouncing back.

While it’s a lighthearted tale, it’s a reminder of the importance of caring for the welfare of animals. As we learn to take responsibility to protect that which is weaker than us, some of the great lessons of life are inscribed upon our heart.

Strength used to protect, rather than exploit, is a truly noble thing.