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Though both marsupials are born in South-East Australia, in the wild Anzac, a joey and Peggy a squint-eyed wombat would have never ever crossed paths leave alone, forge a friendship - After all, one is always hopping around, while the other can barely waddle. But thanks to some creative thinking by the folks at Wild about Wildlife Rescue Center in Kilmore, Victoria, the two are now life-long pals, not to mention, world famous!
Though the two youngsters now lead a happy and comfortable life neither, had a good start, given that both were orphaned after their mothers got hit by cars - A common occurrence in the region because these animals largely forage at night and are often difficult to see, on the unlit country roads.
When Anzac was brought to the center, he seemed to desperately miss his mother. In an attempt to provide him with some comfort, the center officials decided to pair him up five-month old Peggy, who also appeared a little forlorn. Sure enough, the two began to get along like a house on fire - So much so, that they now share a man-made pouch and spend the day cuddling with each other. Lisa Mulligan who owns and operates the center believes that listening to each other's heartbeat is probably what comforts both animals.
While the center officials believe that the two will always have a soft spot for each other, they also realize that the current coziness will come to an end once the two out-grow the hand-knit woolen pouch. If Anzac grows to his full potential, he will weigh up to 100 pounds and leap around at speeds of over 25 miles an hour. Though Peggy can grow to weigh as much as half his weight, she will never be able to keep up with him, even if Anzac slows his leaps down to tiny hops!
Therefore, the center is already making sure they have other pals to keep them company when the inevitable parting happens. The two cuddle buddies share a nursery with two baby wallabies and five other joeys, who all seem to get along amazingly well, spending the day touching noses and grooming each other.
Native to Australia, kangaroos and wombats are both herbivorous marsupials. While mammals, these animals differ from others because the females have an abdominal pouch to carry their young. Interestingly enough, the pouch is not just a convenient mechanism to transport their young, but necessary, for the baby's survival because marsupial babies are not fully developed when born. Instead, they continue to develop outside of the body for weeks and sometimes even months, feeding off the mammary glands that are connected to the abdominal pouch. Other members of this family include koalas, wallabies and opossums.
Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, globalanimal.com, kidspost.com, nationalgeographic.com