You can visit this Australian island, but only if you pledge to skip the wombat selfie
Wombats basically look like living teddy bears, but that doesn’t mean you should satisfy the urge to squeeze them. In fact, one Australian island wants you to sign a pledge ensuring that you’ll leave the cute, fuzzy marsupials alone, reports Lilit Marcus at CNN.
Wombats in Maria Island National Park, located off the east coast of Tasmania in Australia, are very curious and friendly—but that’s starting to become an issue on the the 44.6 square mile island, which has no permanent residents. Visitors to the island have been getting closer and closer to the wombats, taking selfies and patting the furry beasts.
While the animals may not obviously seem to mind, rangers on the island say all the attention is likely stressing the critters out. That’s why businesses near the park along with the local parks service have recently posted an oath for visitors to take at the ferry terminal to the island, promising not to bother the wombats or other wildlife at the park, including Tasmanian devils, Forester kangaroos and Bennett’s wallabies.
The oath reads:
“I take this pledge to respect and protect the furred and feathered residents of Maria. I will remember you are wild and pledge to keep you this way.
I promise I will respectfully enjoy the wonders of your beautiful island home, from the wharf, to the Painted Cliffs, to the Rocky bluffs, haunted bays and mystery of Maria’s ruins.
Wombats, when you trundle past me I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick, or get too close to your babies. I will not surround you, or try and pick you up. I will make sure I don’t leave rubbish or food from my morning tea. I pledge to let you stay wild.
I vow to explore with a sense of responsibility, adventure and kindness. I will leave your wild island as I found it, and take home memories filled with beauty and my soul filled up with wonder.”
Taking the pledge, which is being posted in several languages, is not mandatory, but is more of reminder to visitors that the park is a wild space and not a marsupial petting zoo.