Bushwalkers in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain were treated to a rare sight when they saw a playful baby wombat hitching a ride on its mother’s back.
Anja Boot had been out bushwalking in the rain with her children after an Easter egg hunt when the adorable pair were spotted.
‘I’ve been bushwalking in that area since I was five years old and I’ve never seen something like this,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The baby wombat was desperately trying to keep its balance and hold on,’ she said.
Bushwalkers in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain were treated to a rare sight when they saw a playful baby wombat hitching a ride on her mother’s back
The mother and baby were on their way through a grassy plain along the popular bushwalking trail in Waldheim’s within Cradle Mountain National Park.
The area is particularly well known for its thriving wombat population.
It was Ms Boot’s 11-year-old daughter Ruby who spotted the wombats, telling her mum: ‘That looks really strange, that couldn’t be possible.’
Ms Boot said she stood and watched for a while as the mother wombat, with baby on board, jumped over clumps of grass as the baby struggled to hold on.
At one point the baby somersaulted off the mother’s back, falling down into the stream between the button grass.
‘She got up, climbed back up her bottom and was determined to ride on her back again,’ Ms Boot told Daily Mail Australia.
The mother and baby were on their way through a grassy plain along the popular bushwalking trail in Waldheim’s within Cradle Mountain National Park (pictured)
‘We stood and watched the baby for a while, and the mama was moving between different patches of grass and eating and the baby was holding on. It was a bit wobbly,’ Ms Boot said
Ms Boot speculated that it wasn’t the first time the baby wombat had hitched a ride.
‘It was very rainy and I think the baby wanted to get out of the rain,’ she said.
Animal experts say wombats are not designed to ride ‘jockey-style’ due to the fact they typically have short legs which are used for digging.
Wombats are currently under threat from the deadly sarcoptic mange disease which threatens to wipe out local wombat populations.
The debilitating disease is caused by an infestation of mites, which burrow into the skin, causing severe itching, abnormal thickening of the skin, and loss of fur.
Eventually the wombat becomes deaf and blind and death occurs.
Ms Boot, who is passionate about wildlife conservation, is partnering with Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and the University of Tasmania to help raise funds for a research project to treat the mange.