SYDNEY, Australia, Jul 12 – An orphan baby wombat who warmed the hearts of the world in a viral Facebook video viewed 40 million times has turned one, with his latest exploits also proving a huge hit.
George was still in his mum’s pouch when she was hit and killed by a car last year. Luckily, a passer-by found the scared animal and delivered him to the Australian Reptile Park near Sydney.
It was there that general manager Tim Faulkner became his new “fill-in” family, providing him with the milk he needed and the cuddles he craved.
A video of George following Faulkner around, getting his tummy rubbed and chewing his sock became a massive social media hit and the park has now recreated it to mark his first birthday.
Since being posted on Tuesday evening, the new footage has already been viewed nearly 900,000 times, with the furry marsupial now fatter and bigger but still loving the attention.
“It’s always hit and miss with these little orphans. It’s hard to know if they’ve been exposed to disease, are malnourished or even injured in the accident,” said Faulkner.
“He has pulled through like a true champion. I’m so proud of the Australian ambassador George has become. Australian wildlife needs all the help it can get and George has stolen everyone’s heart, again!”
George is a Common Wombat, which is not a threatened species in Australia. The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat and Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat are classified as endangered.