As any pet owner will tell you, animal selfies are the perfect photo op. Adding an animal to any photo is guaranteed to generate likes, and the stranger the animal, the more likes the photo will get. Australia, being home to many rare creatures, knows all about the animal selfie. That’s why Maria Island decided to take the matter into their own hands, and put up signs encouraging visitors not to take selfies with the wombats.
Maria Island, which is off the cost of Tasmania, in Australia, is home to a number of wild animals, including the adorable wombat. These marsupials are known for their resemblance to a teddy bear. They have very docile personalities, and aren’t quick movers, which have made them quite the selfie accessory for those visiting the island.
For those who are in Maria Island, which is rare, as no human is a permanent resident of the area, they will now be greeting with signing asking them to pledge their respect for the area. The pledge discusses a number of topics, including protecting the wonders of the island, but it is the part on wombats that have caught the attention of many. The pledge states, “Wombats, when you trundle past me I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick, or get too close to your babies. I will not surround you, or try and pick you up. I will make sure I don't leave rubbish or food from my morning tea. I pledge to let you stay wild.”
Social media quickly picked up on this pledge, and while many were disappointed, they understood they must respect the wild animals. Of course, that didn’t stop them from trying to add their best comedic commentary to the story. One twitter user wrote, “But what if you *really* want to take a selfie with a wombat?”
While a website has been made so visitors, or anyone for that matter, can sign the Maria Island pledge, John Fitzgerald, the CEO of Tasmania Tourism, says the pledge is more about getting people into a more respectful mindset. For now, if you want a selfie with an adorable wombat, you will just have to do it knowing you are breaking code, but luckily no law will be broken. Just in case though, remember to leave the selfie stick at home.