Tourism Tasmania is kindly requesting that visitors to Maria Island, an uninhabited island and wildlife sanctuary off Tasmania’s northwest coast, promise to stop obsessing over #wombatselfies and take a pledge to that effect.
The pledge reads, “Wombats, when you trundle past me I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick, or get too close to your babies. I will not surround you, or try and pick you up.” The pledge was considered necessary when several selfies turned up online featuring tourists interacting with wombats who clearly did not want to be interacted with.
Ruth Dowty, from Tasmania’s East Coast Regional Tourism Organization, told BuzzFeed News that since the wombats on Maria Island don’t have any natural predators, they’re “so laid back and they’re such teddy bear-looking creatures so it’s almost irresistible [to pat them].” As it turns out, you most definitely should resist that urge.
Besides adorable wombats, Maria Island is home to pademelons, Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies, and Tasmanian devils — none of which you should chase around for a picture either.