Watch a brand-new episode of The Cute Show! to see Belle and Phoenix get into all kinds of mischief later this month on VICE.com. Photo by Heather Lighton.
We asked our associate editor Harry what he thought about wombats, and he said, “An ugly animal—like a bat but dumber.” Then we whipped out this photo and he was paralyzed in an alternating laugh/awwww/laugh/awwww stupor for three whole minutes. Then we really fucked with his emotional bearings by telling him that this little munchkin, named Belle, is an orphan. Sadly, her mother was run over by a car, but when animal control arrived they checked her pouch and found Belle alive and well inside. (Unlike most marsupials, wombat pouches open from the bottom, near their rumps, so that when they dig they don’t sprinkle dirt all over their babies. Clever, eh?) After being rescued, Belle was taken to Healesville Sanctuary in Australia and currently lives there with her best mate, Phoenix, another orphaned wombat. When we visited, they simultaneously dove into a tunnel that was too small to fit both of them, so their little butts were wiggling around in our faces as they tried to push their way inside. It was hilarious!