NEWBORN wombats need round-the-clock care so when an orphaned joey was found in the wild, two Perth Zoo nurses quickly became surrogate mums.
Tili was about two months old and weighed less than 1.3kg when officers from Parks and Wildlife brought her to the zoo knowing she was too young to survive on her own in the wild.
The southern hairy-nosed wombat is now eight months old and a healthy 4.6kg.
Senior vet nurse Kate Simon-Menasse and nursing supervisor Peta Moore say Tili, whose name means “light” in the Pitjantjatjara indigenous language, has a sweet nature but is also very cheeky.
“Initially she was coming home with myself or Peta every night,” Ms Simon-Menasse said on Friday.
“It was much like having a newborn infant, timing your life around bottle feeds and waking up throughout the evening to tend to her every need.”
Tili is now being weaned off special marsupial milk so she can continue to thrive.
“It has been exhausting but so rewarding to see her develop into a robust little wombat,” Ms Simon-Menasse said.
“I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to be one of her human mums.”
Tili cannot be released into the wild so she will remain at Perth Zoo.