Snuggler sought for wacky Australian job post

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 12:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 4:25pm

Best job ever? An island off Tasmania is looking to hire a Chief Wombat Cuddler.

Flinders Island wants a new, animal-loving employee to meet — and snuggle — its internet-famous orphaned wombat, Derek.

Derek gained fame in Australia after professional landscape photographer Sean Scott posted a video of the young wombat on Facebook after visiting Flinders Island, which sits off the state of Tasmania's northeast coast, in March.

"When the video of Derek went viral on social media, it provided us with a perfect opportunity to keep people talking and thinking about Tasmania," said John Fitzgerald, CEO of Tourism Tasmania. "The competition idea came from one of our own staff and our social media team quickly picked it up and ran with it."

Little Derek was rescued from his mother's pouch after she was hit by a car last December and is now in the care of Kate Mooney, the "Wombat Lady of Flinders Island," who has helped return more than 100 wombats to health in the last 20 years.

The job posting is more of a competition than an actual occupation. Applicants must submit a statement of 25 or fewer words as to why they should fill the role of Chief Wombat Cuddler. So far, Tourism Tasmania has received more than 2,000 entries.

Winners will be flown for a three-night stay on the island and, of course, will have a chance to meet and cuddle with Derek the wombat.

Unfortunately, the contest is only open for Australian residents aged 18 and older.