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November, 22 the doors opened to introduce to the press and media representatives the two newcomers: MOLLY (alias: Sheila) and WALLY (alias: Mate).

Entrance, free of charge for kids under the age of 14.


December, 3. – December 24.

I was happy to receive an invitation and giving my time to take part at the welcoming event of two wombats from Downunder.

Another wonder of living animals the wombats had arrived from Tasmania after the long-long journey to be close again and to share in the cozy environment the togetherness with other mates at the Australia House based at the Budapest’s Zoo.

The welcoming ceremony was opened by Mr. Miklós Persányi, General Director of the Budapest Zoo, Mr. István Tarlós, Budapest Major, His Excellency Mr John Griffin, Australian Ambassador, Australian Embassy to Hungary, Mr. Pakapat Thipayaprapai, Australian Embassy  and Mr. Zoltán Hanga, Spokeman, Budapest’s Zoo.

Mr. Miklós Persányi, greeted the distinguished guests and the gathered media representatives inside the Australia House. The General Director first showed  the His Excellency  and the  Budapest’s Major around in the Australian House. Then after we all gathered in front of the former Bird House that had been rebuilt for the purpose of receiving the newcomers from Tasmania. He also stated: “With the variety of our earth’s wildlife, Hungary tries to even be more present and illustrate the rarely seen species here at the Budapest’s Zoo. There are nine zoos around the World that keep wombats. Of course there are many wombats living in the Zoo at the different territories of Australia. In Europe, the Hungarian Zoo stand as the 4th Zoo to have these sleazy, real rarity wombats. The other three European zoos sharing wombats are in Duisburg and Hannover, Germany  and at Planckendael, Belgium.

The Budapest’s Major, expressed his joy to have new residents at the Zoo after decades again. He was saying, the first time wombats were staying at the Budapest’s Zoo was in 1897.  The next time was just a 100 yrs. ago in 1911, also brought from Tasmania. Previously, to these 2 wombats arrival, there was 2 yrs. of  heavy pre-works in organizing for things to get in order. Last time the Budapest Zoo cared of a wombat was in 1973 and those animal care folks aren’t working in the fields of the Zoo anymore, therefore to-day, no-one has personally memories of how to handle, do the care. To-day’s animal care folks previously went to Germany and Tasmania to gain the knowledge and collect information about the wombats caring and  their habits.

Mr. István Tarlós,  was also happy to say these 2 wombats didn’t have to suffer that long-long journey from Tasmania to Budapest like in these old days (1911) when the transportation took 4 months. This time with the support of the Qatar Airways the animals had  to  suffer (if they did at all) only less than a day flight to arrive in these two wooden boxes  seen out on display.

His Excellency Mr John Griffin, Ambassador arrived to Hungary in the summer of this year and he expressed he is also pleased to participate at this greeting event to the arrival of some of his homeland creatures here at the Budapest Zoo. He also shared a great story about why the wombats have flat heads and the kangas a long tail. Verbally it is a short story, but don’t wish to take your time by writing that would seem as long story. So, I apologize for taking it to a shorty version of what he have had to say. (Before “Noe’s age” the kangas and the wombats both lived at the same friendly camping-ground, but the 2 males lived separately. The kangas lived under the open sky, the wombat in his own  “little tent” in shelter. Of course when the change of season came along with the chilly and pouring rain, the kanga went to wombat to ask him for shelter. The wombat refused to give kanga any shelter even though he had free place at one of the corner’s of his shelter. Kanga was cross by the reaction of the wombat, so he searched for a huge flat stone and hit the wombat on his forehead. Since then the wombats have flat heads. Now the story doesn’t end here. The wombat really got pissed-off and waited just for the right moment to stand for revenge. One day wombat was hunting in the forest, he saw  kanga through the  branches of  trees. Wombat then decided now is the right time for taking the revenge for kanga’s cruel  behaviour. Wombat took a piece of spare from a nearby bark of a tree. He threw it like a spear toward kanga’s lower backside where it actually landed. The spear ended deeply and it couldn’t have had been removed. The painful hit made a huge wound that just grew and grew. So since then the kangas have long tails and the wombats have flat foreheads.) The Ambassador also  talked about the Hungarian population in Australia, saying the figures of inhabitants are as high as 700,000.

Some facts about Molly and Wally. They were born in the same year: 2008.  They were kids when they lost their parents in a road accident and had been brought to the ZooDoo Wildlife Park at Richmond in Tasmania. Molly and Wally grow up together and seemed to get along well. They just had their first little “wombaty” born in the early month’s of this year.

There are 3 types of pouched mammals in the territories of Australia: the kangaroo, wombat, wallaby, and from now on beside the kangas, bats, parrots, kookaburra, lizards, fish and the wallabies, two other Aussie mates, the wombats are here at Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Mr. Miklós Persányi,  General Director also made an announcement to the gathering public asking the  media representatives to spread the words of  the Zoo’s invitation: ‘” The Budapest’s Zoo would like to add something more for the families at this coming Seasons Holidays: “kids under the age of 14  can enter the Zoo with free of charge during the a/m dates.

Two prominent supporters Ms. Katalin Kovács, Marketing Maganer from Discovery Networks (CEEMEA) and Mr. Tamás Gereczi, representing the Qatar Airways symbolically adopted Molly and Wally, the two newcomers. This adoption stands for a one-year duration. The adoption  stands with an offical certification, accompanied with the biography card of its animal and receiving as the foster parent a personal invitation twice a year to meet  “your” animal. During the period of the one year adoption, the adoptive parents transfer an amount of aid.

These are truly incredible creatures. Worthwhile to pay a visit to see some real Aussie aboriginals. By-the-way the name of wombat  is  from the aboriginal language of the Aussie. To-day it is no longer spoken,  it is a dead language. No more mother tongue speaks around.

An interesting fact about the name of wombat! There is the village in Australia called by the name Wombat. A small planet named by Wombat.  A well-known football team carries the name. More surprisingly an anti-tank gun is also called by the name of Wombat.

Molly and Wally, the newcomers arrival had become an overnight media sensation. All channels and news desks gave a report on them.

Update and snaps by Aggie Reiter

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris Hanlon on 24/11/2011 at 00:57

    Great report…..I’m from downunder and it’s terrific to see evidence of our much loved creatures being cared for so tenderly by faraway folk…It must be quite a culture shock for the animals to cope with such unforgiving weather during winter but I’m sure they receive all the necessary attention and care to allow them to adjust…Loved the snaps also…Looks like the cold is already beginning to arrive….Thanks again

  2. Merely wanna remark on few general things, The website design is perfect, the subject matter is very great : D.

  3. Posted by Rachel on 01/02/2012 at 13:48

    Been to the Zoo. Went to see the “Australian newcomers” They were sweet and seen in good hands. Wonderful you share your experiences. The look of your web site is so good. Cheers

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