Here’s something you may not have expected to hear about. A thirty-year-old wombat named Patrick has been signed up to the dating app Tinder by his animal handlers. The humorous attempt to pair the wombat with a love interest hit the headlines after his profile began trending online.
The rather large Ballarat Wildlife Park resident has struggled to find a partner over the past three decades, with many of his closest handlers admitting that he is more than a little grouchy. “The male wombat has to be very aggressive towards the female, and Patrick just isn’t a very aggressive wombat,” park operator Julia Leonard told the ABC. “So he chooses to be single.”
But Patrick’s handlers weren’t content to accept the status quo, appealing to the wider public to help find the wombat’s ‘soul mate’. Since the appeal has gone viral, they’ve been overwhelmed by supportive messages wishing them well on their quest to find Patrick’s wombat-love.
With more than thirty thousands committed followers of his Facebook page, Patrick is becoming something of a net-sensation. He’s older than many wombats and much heavier too, factors that consistently surprise fans, handlers and visitors. “On average they probably only live 15 or 20 years in captivity, in the wild much less, so he’s doing very well,” Ms. Leonard explained. “He’s the oldest bare-nosed wombat in captivity.”
After raising much-needed attention for the regional wildlife park, Patrick is set to celebrate his upcoming birthday in style. A party of sorts has been organised by his handlers and park owners, and any potential love-interests are welcome to attend.
“He’ll get a bit of attention, get some carrots and grass and hopefully lap up the day,” Ms. Leonard joked. “Relationships are a bit complex when you’re a wombat.”
As of the time of writing this article, Patrick’s Tinder profile had yet to yield any positive love matches. Here’s hoping the furry and friendly marsupial is as lucky in love as he is in life…
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