Fishermen Come to the Rescue of Distressed Wombat on Lake

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Two men who set out for a day of fishing made a surprising catch when they scooped up a wombat struggling to stay afloat in a Tasmanian lake, video shows.

Craig Wilson and his stepfather, Bob Wilton, were at Woods Lake in Tasmania's central highlands looking for a spot cast a line when they saw a furry creature more than 800 feet away from the shore.

The pair at first thought they had spotted a platypus, but as they edged closer to the struggling critter they saw it was actually a wombat, according to reports.

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Though wombats are not known to seek out water, many are believed to be able to swim if they must.

"He was pretty well distressed," Wilton told 936 ABC Hobart.

"He was struggling and that and I said to Craig, 'I think we better help this poor guy out.'"

The pair spent about 20 minutes staging a rescue operation, first trying to fish him out of the water using their fish landing net.

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After struggling with the waterlogged marsupial who kept trying to escape, the critter was eventually brought on board.

"I picked him up by the fur and lifted him up into the boat and he just sort of sat on the floor," Wilton told 936 ABC Hobart. "I think he was glad to get his feet on the floor of the boat."

Once the men were back to shore, they released the wombat into the wild. 

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