Believe it or not, Patrick the wombat, who weighs 84lbs (38kg) and recently celebrated his 29th birthday, was not the product of a radioactive experiment gone wrong.
The massive creature, who is thought to be the biggest and oldest known wombat in the world, has become a social media sensation after Tourism Australia posted a birthday message to him on Facebook.
People’s instant love (or perhaps their fear) of Patrick won him 258,000 ‘likes’ within 24 hours.
Despite his fame and his buff physique (which is the result of being fed carrots, not protein shakes), Patrick has sadly never known the tender touch of a female wombat.
Like all big things, he had humble beginnings, being orphaned as a baby he was taken in and raised by Ballarat Wildlife Park where he still lives.
The park’s social media manager Lauren Rix said: ‘We always knew that Patrick was a very special wombat, but the huge social media response that he has received this week is incredible.’
Patrick, who has never been able to be released back into the wild due to being rejected by other wombats, now spends his retirement chilling in his wheelbarrow near the entrance to the park and greeting visitors.
What a life.
His legions of fans have turned ‘Wombat Pat’ into something of a celebrity, and the Ballarat Wildlife Park are getting ready for a big celebration when he turns 30, ten years more than wombats in captivity usually live.
Ms Rix said: ‘It’s safe to say that his birthday this year will be extended into a week of celebrations here at Ballarat Wildlife Park.’