Cuteness overload: First sighting of rare baby wombat at Queensland refuge
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Cuteness overload: First sighting of rare baby wombat at Queensland refuge

A young northern hairy-nosed wombat has been captured on camera venturing from its burrow at a southern Queensland nature refuge.

The baby was born at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge, near St George, and there are about 250 northern hairy-nosed wombats left in the wild.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the nature refuge was established 10 years ago to protect the species and the birth was cause for celebration.

"This little creature has only just recently emerged from the pouch and is absolutely gorgeous,” she said.

"The northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of the world’s rarest mammals, and the only known colonies are here in Queensland.

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"Each birth increases the chances of survival of this unique threatened species.

"In 2009, experts believed there were only 138 of these species left in the wild, and since then we have seen the total Queensland population increase to about 250, which is wonderful.

"This latest addition brings the number of northern hairy-nosed wombats at the refuge to twelve.

"The small, but protected population at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge helps assure the species’ survival should any event impact on the numbers of northern hairy-nosed wombats at Epping Forest National Park.

"The refuge is predator-proof, with fencing, water stations and wildlife monitoring equipment all on hand to protect and monitor these enigmatic native animals."

The gender of the furry new arrival is yet to be determined and is believed to have been born in September last year.

The only other colony of the wombat species is also in the Sunshine State, at Epping Forest National Park near Clermont in central Queensland.