split image of Wain the oldest wombat ever

Wain, the world’s oldest wombat in captivity ever, is still going strong at the age of 34.

He was rescued from his mother’s pouch following a car accident in November 1989, meaning he is at least 34 years 100 days old.

However, he could potentially already be 35 as he is thought to have been born in January 1989.

The previous record holder was a wombat named Patrick (1986–2017), who lived at Ballarat Wildlife Park in Victoria, Australia, and was at least 30 years 200 days old when he died.

Wombats typically have a lifespan of 5-15 years in the wild, and in captivity they can live into their twenties, but Wain’s longevity is unprecedented.

“He is a miraculous wombat,” said Kozo Sejima, the director of Satsukiyama Zoo in Ikeda, Japan, where Wain resides.

Wain the wombat eating vegetables

Director Sejima attributes Wain’s remarkable longevity to the low-stress lifestyle he leads: “He sleeps when he wants to sleep and eats when he wants to eat.”

Satsukiyama is the second smallest zoo in the country, thus staff are able to scrupulously care for each animal. And because entry to the zoo is free, the animals are left to live in peace, rather than being forced to appear in front of visitors.

“There are quite a few cases where [visitors] come, but the wombats are holed up in their burrows and can’t be seen,” Director Sejima said.

Wain came to the zoo in 1990, aged one, along with two female wombats, Wonder and Tia.

The trio were sent as goodwill ambassadors to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Ikeda and Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

Wain had two daughters – Satsuki and Sakura – with Wonder, who passed away aged 28.

Satsuki’s birth in 1992 was the first time that wombats had been successfully bred outside of Australia.

Wain the wombat eating grass eyes closed

According to zoo staff, Wain was also intimately acquainted with Tia, who died aged 14, but the pair never reproduced.

Sadly, neither of Wain’s daughters are still alive. Sakura died aged 11 and Satsuki, who is now displayed as a specimen in the zoo’s museum, lived to be 19.

Wain currently lives with three other wombats: an 18-year-old male named Fuku and a breeding pair named Kou and Yuki, both aged seven.

Wain the wombat in a wooden tunnel

A typical day in Wain’s life involves waking up in the morning, eating breakfast, walking around the field, napping under the sun, then getting up again for more food and an evening walk.

His morning meal consists of grass and sweet potatoes, and for dinner he eats grass, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and apples.

All the vegetables are cut into smaller pieces to make them easier for Wain to eat. The zoo has also removed all steps from the enclosure to accommodate Wain in his advanced age. 

Wain the wombat eating grass

The staff say that Wain is very sociable and enjoys coming to see them when they are around.

Back when Wain was first awarded his Guinness World Records title in 2022, a staff member said: “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.”

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