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Australia's 29-Year-old Virgin Wombat Patrick Captures the Hearts of Social Media Fans

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By Reissa Su | August 28, 2014 6:06 PM EST

The oldest wombat in Australia at 29 years old has become the most popular animal on social media right now. Patrick is the country's biggest and oldest wombat with a weight of 40 kilogrammes. He has attracted the attention of social media users after Tourism Australia posted an image of the animal on Facebook with a birthday greeting.

According to reports, Patrick's photo was liked and shared by thousands of Facebook users. In its message to Patrick, Tourism Australia said the wombat has never had any offspring or mated with a female wombat. This means that at 29, Patrick is Australia's "oldest living wombat virgin."

Tourism Australia's trivia about the wombat has led some Facebook users to comment on Patrick's virginity. One person said the wombat has lived so long because he was never married and without children. 

Wildlife animal experts said Patrick's age is unusual since wombats have an average lifespan of five years when in the wild. Wombats in captivity live longer than those in the wild but only up to 20 years.

The big and furry wombat first became an Internet sensation when he was featured on CNN's list of greatest city mascots in the world earlier in the year. Patrick was named the world's third-best mascot. According to Tourism Australia, Patrick has become a familiar animal to wildlife park visitors for decades. He was orphaned as a baby. The owner of the Ballarat Wildlife Park had raised the wombat. Click here to view the photo.

Tourism Australia staff said they tried to release the wombat back into the wild, but he lacks the ability to defend if other wombats bother him. He has since retired from park duty but continues to live in the wildlife park grounds.

Meanwhile, Patrick is not the only animal that became the subject of recent news. Shaun, a 6-year-old merino ram, has been named the "world's woolliest sheep." In a report by ABC News, the ram was found by Peter Hazell, a farmer in central Tasmania. The farmer said he noticed that the Shaun could not see clearly, so he thought to sneak up and grab the ram.

Hazell and his wife Netty has set an appointment with a shearer to cut off Shaun's wool. They estimated the wool to weigh at least 20 kilogrammes. Reports said a sheep in New Zealand, known as Shrek, holds the world record for the fleece-yield. The couple said they hope Shaun can take the title away from Shrek when the shearer comes. 

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