split image oldest wombat

Wain, a wombat living in Satsukiyama Zoo in Japan, is now recognized as the oldest wombat in captivity ever.

This cute creature was rescued from his mother’s pouch after a car accident in November 1989. 

As of 31 January 2022, Wain’s age is 32 years and 86 days – that is the human equivalent of over 100 years!

Ikeda City, where Satsukiyama Zoo is located, is a sister city of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. 

In 1990, Wain (along with two other wombats, Wonder and Tia) came to Satsukiyama Zoo as one of three goodwill ambassadors to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the two cities' sister city relationship.

The average age of wombats in the wild is around five years; this is extended to about 20 years in captivity. According to a staff Satsukiyama Zoo, Wain’s longevity is phenomenal.

Wain (left) walking in the fields, February 1992

"Although he was seen by a vet in the past a couple of times, he never got sick in the past few years. We don’t know why this is, but this nature-filled and quiet environment this zoo has may have something to do with it."

Typically, Wain wakes up when a staff member opens the door, eats breakfast, walks around the field, and then naps under the sun. 

He gets up again for a walk in the evening as well. He has a habit of walking around in an anticlockwise direction. The staff says Wain is very likable, coming to see the staff when they are around.

Wain in his room while zoo staff is cleaning

Wain eats twice a day: in the morning, he has some grass and sweet potatoes, and in the evening, he eats grass, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and apples. 

Although Wain eats well, he is apparently not a big fan of carrots!

Even though he is in great health, the staff at Satsukiyama Zoo considers Wain's age.

They have already gotten rid of steps, so Wain doesn’t need to climb them, and vegetables are cut into smaller pieces, so it's easier for Wain to eat.

Wain having a nap in his room

The staff at Satsukiyama Zoo are delighted with Wain’s achievement.

"Wain got a lot of attention after receiving the official certificate, and we received congratulatory notes from zoos across the country. We also have more visitors to the zoo. All this tells us that Wain has achieved something extraordinary."

"Once Wain arrived at our zoo, he was part of the first successful breeding in Japan. And now, he is a Guinness World Records holder. Although Satsukiyama Zoo is the second smallest zoo in Japan, we have become a place known worldwide. Because we are a small zoo, we can look after each animal with meticulous care. We want people to come to visit our vital animals as many times as they like – and it's free entry!"