A SPRING Gully man got the shock of his life when he found a 21-kilogram wombat under his car yesterday.
The man's dog started madly barking at the car, under which the furry giant was taking refuge, at 6.30am.
Wildlife Rescue and Emergency Service president Neil Morgan, who attended the scene, said it was highly unusual for a wombat to be in an urban area.
It was not known how the wombat, which Mr Morgan named Paris, came to be under the car, he said.
"The dog was growling and barking at his car and there was something under there," he said.
"(Seeing a wombat) right in town is very unusual.
"The guy in his driveway couldn't believe it."
Mr Morgan said Paris, a female about 14 to 18 months old, was covered in about 130 bush ticks, which raised concerns about her immune system.
He said he tranquilised the burly marsupial upon arrival then took it to passionate vetcare in Eaglehawk.
But he warned other people not to pick up a wombat themselves.
"If you see one on the side of the road and injured, be aware," he said.
"They have very powerful jaws - they could take your fingers off.
They have very powerful jaws - they could take your fingers off.Neil Morgan
"They're very, very dangerous."
He said he was able to move Paris with his bare hands, but only because he had significant animal-handling practice.
"It's all technique - you learn how to handle animals," he said.
After being examined by a vet and given a strong dose of antibiotics, Paris the wombat was taken to the Spring Gully Wildlife Shelter.
Paris will stay there for a few weeks, Mr Morgan said, to be cared for by Jo Lyall, who runs the shelter.
"She's settling in quite nicely and eating okay," Mr Morgan said of Paris' condition.
"We'll give her more medication in the next few days."
Mr Morgan said it was particularly important Paris' pouch was clean, to ensure she did not get an infection.
Wombats are mainly nocturnal and live in underground burrows.
Mr Morgan said wombats could weigh up to 35 kilograms.
Wildlife Rescue and Emergency Service is a registered not-for-profit charity.
It operates 24 hours a day and rescues injured and orphaned native wildlife.
To find out more about the service or make a donation, go to www.wres.org.au
If you see encounter injured wildlife call Neil on 0427 301 401.