Las Vegas has had people taking shelter in its stormwater tunnels. A somewhat less frightening prospect showed up last week in an Australian storm pipe: a wombat.
If you’re responsible for maintaining stormwater pipes, finding and fixing leaks, or detecting illegal connections, you’ve likely used video cameras to inspect the system, and that’s just what staff in the city of Launceton, Tasmania, were doing when they discovered the critter.
Wombats are stocky little marsupials, mostly nocturnal, that can grow to about three feet long. They look a bit like huge guinea pigs and have impressively solid claws for burrowing. This one retreated rapidly as the camera approached. (You can see the video here.)
The pipe was more than 30 feet underground and 300 millimeters, or a little less than a foot, in diameter, which the video shows was a snug fit for the critter, but probably just about the right size for a burrow. Once the wombat was safely out of the pipe, the city blocked off the end of the pipe with a grate.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve found during a stormwater pipe inspection?