In the wake of the devastating bushfires currently burning in Australia, an image has been widely shared on social media:
Here is one example from Twitter, retweeted 11K times:
While I have an open mind, I am suspicious for three reasons:
- It is hard to imagine how this behaviour would evolve.
- It is hard to imagine any animal behaviourist having the time to carefully observe wombats during a bushfire, and I don't trust the wishful observations from non-experts.
- The spelling of "behavior" is American - but then again, "sheperding" is a misspelling too.
Have there been reliable reports of shepherding and sharing of burrows? I will accept evidence from outside of this bushfire season. (e.g. I can imagine an biologist preparing an experiment before a planned hazard-reduction burn.)