An orphaned wombat joey looked every bit a puppy as he interacted with kangaroos during a leash-guided walk in a heartwarming video filmed over the weekend.
Wildlife carer Kym Haywood took Woodrow, a 12-month-old southern hairy nose wombat, for a walk at Pumpkin's Patch Kangaroo Sanctuary in Boston, South Australia, on Sunday.
Woodrow was filmed curiously sniffing the ground in the kangaroo enclosure as Mrs Haywood guided him around on a leash - which is for the safety of the kangaroos.
"For him to go out in the kangaroo enclosure it could be dangerous. Once he's 30 kilos and a little ball of muscle, and he runs around, he could definitely snap a leg," Mrs Haywood told ACM.
"Since he's young, it's the best time to pop the harness on and he's taken to it really well.
"The walks are just to keep him stimulated. I don't really like to see them (the animals) locked up all the time, so to be able to put the harness on and get out of his enclosure, stimulates the mind."
Mrs Haywood said the leash and harness will mean she can easily guide Woodrow into the house rather than carrying him when he is an adult, at which point he will weigh 30kg.
In the video, several kangaroos came up to inspect Woodrow, prompting the wombat to briefly look at them before continuing his walk, seemingly uninterested by his fellow marsupials.
"He's just happy to do what he wants to do," Mrs Haywood explained.
Mrs Haywood posted a video of Woodrow on a leash to social media on Sunday, where comparisons were immediately drawn to a puppy or a little French Bulldog.
A video of Woodrow playing like a puppy with the "zoomies" went viral last week and has now been viewed more than 1.1 million times of Mrs Haywood's Facebook page Rufus the Couch Kangaroo.
The carer said Woodrow has largely been brought up indoors but is now spending more time outdoors in his own enclosure as well as for walks in the kangaroo enclosure.
"He's starting to out to the enclosure for an hour at a time to be used to the outside and outside noises," Mrs Haywood said.
"It will slowly build up to when he's out there full time - that might be in a month or so.
"After that, we'll do the same process with him in the big enclosure out the front of the property."
Mrs Haywood is Woodrow's primary carer after the joey was rescued from his dead mother's pouch when she was fatally hit by a car in the Murraylands earlier this year.
Woodrow and his younger eight-month-old "brother" Tadmow at their animal sanctuary - along with 26 kangaroos.
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In addition to Woodrow, another famous marsupial called "Rufus the Couch Kangaroo" lives at Pumpkin's Patch Kangaroo Sanctuary.
Rufus frequently wanders in the Haywood house to relax on the couch in the evenings.
Despite the cult social media following, Mrs Haywood said it was still a struggle to fund their animal sanctuary, which was a non-for-profit charity.
"We've had a lot of media exposure over the past couple years but it doesn't really seem to translate into donations," Mrs Haywood said.
"Definitely, donations are always very well appreciated. At the moment, we're trying rally build another shelter for the kangaroos but it's difficult on a single wage."