An animal rescuer is recovering after she was mauled by a 42kg wombat that ‘ripped off’ a chunk of her hand.
Beth Nasser encountered the marsupial named ‘Bambam’ at her Wombat Stomp wildlife sanctuary in the NSW southern tablelands earlier this month.
Without warning the normally cute and cuddly creature lashed out.
‘(The wombat) just lunged out from underneath me,’ she told Yahoo News Australia.
‘I must have put my hand out to defend myself because I was on the ground and he’s just ripped my hand apart.’
Ms Nasser was rushed to a hospital in Canberra for emergency treatment.
She suffered multiple bites and bruising, with two huge bites on her leg and shoulder that required stitches.
But the most significant bite was on her palm exposing ‘muscle tendons and bone’.
Ms Nasser, who lost almost all function of her hand as a result of the bite, compared the injury to an autopsy.
The brave wildlife rescuer has had plastic surgery and remains in hospital.
She believes the outcome of the encounter could have been worse.
‘I’m quite experienced in dealing with wombats which is the only reason I was able to get myself on top of him,’ Ms Nasser said.
‘If he’d grabbed my throat I wouldn’t be here today.’
Ms Nasser had reared Bambam since he was a joey and tiny enough to fit into her hand.
She later released the wombat into the bushland surrounding her wildlife sanctuary.
Over a year after being in the wild, Ms Nasser came across Bambam in the bush.
Despite her injuries, she admitted that she had been ‘complacent’ around the marsupial as he was only ‘patrolling and keeping his territory safe’ and ‘did nothing wrong’.
She has called on the public not to ‘demonise’ wild animals like Bambam but to respect them.
The attack has not deterred the wildlife rescuer from working with wombats at her sanctuary, emphasising the encounter was ‘not Bambam’s fault’.
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This article by Jesse Hyland was first published by The Daily Mail on 31 October 2021. Lead Image: Animal rescuer Beth Nasser (pictured) had a chunk of her palm ‘ripped off’ by a 42kg wombat.