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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Australia’s first wombat hospital opens in Cedar Creek

A lifelong dream has finally become a reality for wildlife warriors Roz and Kevin Holme.

The owners of Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue Inc – located about 20 kilometres from Cessnock – officially opened the doors to their latest addition, a hospital, at the end of November.

The new facility has been built on the back of generous financial support, as well as the dedication of volunteers Sophie Brenton and Robin Crisman.

“We’re thrilled,” Roz said. “It means we can save a lot more animals.

“We now boast a specialised wombat treatment facility equipped to treat the very ill and injured wombats and, occasionally, any other wildlife in need.”

Roz said there were many people, and groups, to thank.

“Wombat Crossing Vineyards and Ian Napier provided a microscope as well as contributing, along with Around Hermitage Association, for a portable generator,” she explained.

“Ian and the members of Wombat Field and Wine Club also helped us purchase an anaesthetic machine.

Roz and Kevin Holme.

“Sophie [Brenton] organised the raffle, acquiring the site shed and getting it completely outfitted and climate-controlled to be used as our new hospital once we outgrew the caravan we started with.

“Through borrowed funds, we obtained an X-ray machine – and now have digital radiograph capabilities that speed up the diagnosing process which, in turn, reduces the stress on the injured wombats.

“Any contribution towards this much-needed equipment and the ongoing hospital supplies would be highly-appreciated.

“The facility is incredibly busy. But, we are often low on funds to treat, feed and provide constant care for the wombats while they are nursed back to health for release.”

Avid Newcastle Weekly readers will know the hospital is the latest chapter to a story that started almost four decades ago.

Roz and Kevin recognised the plight of the bare-nosed wombat, which included the loss of habitat, road hazards and debilitating sarcoptic mange.

So, the refuge was born. It was dedicated to rescuing not just orphaned joey wombats but also sub-adults and adults that were in need of medical care, whether it be from accident, injury or disease.

Roz, also a trained vet nurse, takes on animals with illness or wounds that may have otherwise been euthanised, too.

“Along with wombats, we care for many species native animals with the focus being on those that are in need of more than routine care to get them to the point of release,” she said.

Check into the Cedar Creek Wombat Rescue Inc and Hospital Instagram or Facebook page to meet some of the current residents and get the latest updates, or head to the donations page to provide valuable financial support.