Tourists see ‘unusual’ animal at Australia beach, video shows. ‘Great deal of mystery’

A bear-like creature surprised tourists in Australia by wandering onto the beach during the day and wading into the water, a video shows. The animal’s “unusual” behavior baffled experts.

During their visit to Tasmania, Chaz and Bee Taylor went for a hike and stopped at a remote beach, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The tourists were joined by an “unusual” visitor: a wombat, the Wombat Protection Society of Australia said in an April 19 Facebook post. A video shows the rotund animal entering the water, seemingly taking a drink and walking away.

Wombats are relatively large, hairy marsupials that look “round,” “cuddly” and “bearlike,” according to Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Native to Australia, these burrowing animals are, on average, about 3 feet long and weigh over 40 pounds.

The recent sighting of a wombat wading into the water during the day and eating or drinking was “unusual,” the society said.

Wombats are primarily nocturnal and prefer forested areas where the soil is better for burrowing, environmental officials said.

“We’ve seen photos of (wombat) footprints on the sand on the beaches, and they might go right up to the water’s edge, but we’ve never ever seen that sort of behavior,” an official with the society, Jennifer Mattingley, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The wombat in the video did not appear to be sick, Mattingley told the outlet.

“Maybe the wombat is finding some extra nutrients in the sea grasses/plants that may be lacking from its diet,” the society wrote on Facebook.

“There is a great deal of mystery regarding wombats and their lifestyles,” the society said.

A close-up view shows the wombat’s face.
A close-up view shows the wombat’s face.

Chaz and Bee Taylor told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the wombat sighting “delighted” them. “We really didn’t know what a wombat looked like exactly … We come from Montana and we have a lot of bears, so to us this looked like a little friendly bear.”

The Wombat Protection Society of Australia said it is “looking into” the wombat’s odd behavior.

Tasmania is an island off the southeastern coast of Australia.

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