Emily Harris, 5, and Sophie, 4, with Santa and Cool Companions wombat Bobby at the Redbank Plaza on Wednesday.
Emily Harris, 5, and Sophie, 4, with Santa and Cool Companions wombat Bobby at the Redbank Plaza on Wednesday. Sarah Harvey

Wombat educates children

HUNDREDS of kids were entertained and educated when an adorable wombat named Bobby visited Redbank Plaza this week as a guest of Santa.

The grumpy-looking mammal, a southern hairy-nosed wombat, did not seem to particularly enjoy, nor be bothered by the masses of kids patting him, or the white beard constantly brushing against his fur.

But according to his trainer Tanya Carter, a wildlife expert from Cool Companions, that’s Bobby 24/7.

“Bobby is quite a relaxed character,” Ms Carter said.

“The point of the show with Bobby was to give the kids an experience they would normally have to pay a fair bit of money for.

“Zoos are so expensive these days and many kids just don’t get to experience them.

“It’s quite a shame that it has become that way because a lot of the enjoyment of seeing animals you rarely see has been taken from our kids.”

Ms Carter said the Christmas show at Redbank Plains was a success.

“We try to educate the kids on the native wildlife and give them a fun time as well,” she said.

“What is really important is teaching them about the animals they may find in their backyards.

“For instance, how to handle a possum and what you can feed them.”

The Cool Campions team will be back at Redbank Plaza next month.

From January 17, they will host a week-long display featuring a variety of animals including reptiles and various mammals.

“There will be several animals in the display and it will be free all day so kids can come in with their parents and look around without having to worry about making it to the show.

“But there will be educational shows on throughout the week.”



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