ONE of Wagga's most iconic residents, Dozer the wombat of the Botanic Gardens Zoo and Aviary, died yesterday morning.
The 19-year-old common wombat, who has called Wagga home for nine years, died from a suspected heart failure.
Wagga City Council's parks and strategic operations manager Henry Pavitt said Dozer had made a "long-lasting impression" on both staff and visitors alike.
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Mr Pavitt said Dozer was commonly regarded as one of the garden's more mysterious residents and for that reason he held a particularly special place in the hearts of the many zoo visitors.
"He was a bit of a legend, kind of like Wagga's 5 o'clock wave," Mr Pavitt said.
"Visitors loved the challenge of trying to spot Dozer. It was like winning the lottery when he was out in the open, and you could manage to get a photo of the old fellow."
While Dozer has given the community enduring memories, Mr Pavitt said many staff will fondly remember him as a "cantankerous old man".
"He was fantastic for the zoo, and the wider community, but he was definitely a grumpy old man," he said.
"He was set in his ways, didn't like to be woken out of his slumber and was happy to try and hide away."
Mr Pavitt said the wombat legacy is expected to live on at the zoo after revealing plans to welcome another wombat in the future.
"It won't happen straight away. We'll take this opportunity to look at ways to improve the enclosure before unveiling a new addition," he said.