Wombats are small marsupials with stumpy legs who are not known to be vicious
© Getty
Wombats are small marsupials with stumpy legs who are not known to be vicious
A woman has been hospitalised with more than 20 bites after she was viciously attacked by a WOMBAT.

Kerry Evans was out walking with her dogs on a home-lined street when she saw what looked like a rock in a garden.

The 58-year-old said that, as she and her two English springer spaniels Murphy and Pirate got closer to the object in Canberra, Australia, she realised it was wombat - a badger-sized furry marsupial.

Public servant Kerry was stunned when the animal suddenly turned on her and her dogs, charging them and biting Murphy.

Kerry fell to the ground tripping over the dog leads - and that's when the animal turned on her, launching a sustained attack as the terrified dogs tried to get out of the way.

The attack, at about 7.30pm last Monday, only stopped when two samaritans came to Kerry's aid and she was able to get to her feet and escape.

"I don't ever remember being as scared as what I was, this wombat was not relenting , it was not going away, it just kept coming back at me the whole time.

"I've got over 20 bites and that's not counting the bites where it didn't break the skin, I'm bruised everywhere, up and down my legs and arms, on my stomach and on my buttocks.

"It had a jolly good go at me, five of those bites have required stitches, I had to be taken to theatre where they washed out all the wounds and cut out all the dead skin.

"It certainly was horrific, it certainly was frightening, they're not the cute, cuddly things that everyone thinks they are.

Bites and bruises on Kerry's body caused by the wombat attack
© Caters
Bites and bruises on Kerry's body caused by the wombat attack
"This wombat was actually in somebody's front yard, it's a residential area, I wasn't in his territory. I saw what I thought was a very large rock and didn't take that much notice of it, apart from thinking I don't remember that there.

"Then as I got closer it hit me what it was, because it moved its head up, and I was close enough to realise it's a wombat.

"I was still thinking it was going to ignore us because it had plenty of space to the left to get round us, I couldn't believe how fast it moved, it just charged straight at Murphy.

"I mean my dogs hadn't seen it up until it actually attacked them, there was a lot of barking and screaming and my dogs are cowards, so much for me thinking they are going to protect me.

"I learned very quickly the dogs if they had been able to get away they would just have taken off.

"The dogs were trying to get away from it, and I got tangled in their leads and fell to the ground and that's when the wombat must have thought I was a better target.

"It started attacking me, and the attacks just continued, I couldn't stop him. He was trying to get to my face, I just tried to keep kicking him away.

"I wasn't scaring him away, I was screaming on the ground and all I could think to do was fight but every time I tried to get to my feet he'd bite me again.

Kerry said thankfully some passers-by heard her calls for help.

"I was shouting 'help me' 'help me'. I woman did stop in her car and got out but she said 'I can't come over, I've got a baby'.

"Luckily someone at the house one down from where I was attacked came out and saw me on the ground. She came over and the other lady came over and they each grabbed a dog each.

"This is when my mind went a big blank, I got up but I can't remember how and got to the front door of the house where the lady came out. And I collapsed."

The samaritan neighbour took Kerry's phone and called an ambulance and her husband Dave.

Kerry said she reported the attack the next day to the local ranger authority.

"When the woman rang my husband she said 'I'm phoning on behalf of your wife, she's been attacked by a wombat.

"At first he thought it was a practical joke and she actually had to repeat herself three times. She said he needed to come quick, he was in a bit of shock too.

"The rangers said they hadn't heard of anything like this before but when they spoke to wildlife experts they were told it's a fallacy that they are cute and cuddly.

"They might be when they are little but when they are fully grown they can be quite different. And it's the way they attack, they just keep coming.

"Some people have said perhaps it had been sick possibly, or it could have just been a very aggressive male.

"I probably did startle it, it probably was happily munching away when this couple of dogs and this woman came over and disturbed it. But in no way did my dogs go over in any sort of way and attack it.

"We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time as it turns out."

Kerry was treated at Canberra Hospital and still requires treatment to the wounds and bruising to guard against infection.