Natives of Foenara, valembats are typically found deep in underground burrows within the Grass Forest. While not inherently foul-tempered, valembats tend to be solitary and territorial, except during their short breeding season that occurs every two years. Male valembats prepare for this time by digging out the reddest roots and tubers, which pigment their fur a bright pink color when eaten. The males with the brightest and pinkest coats attract the most mates. About two weeks before the start of the breeding season, all of the valembats begin the short migration to the hill on the edge of Foenara, disregarding farms and villages as they make their march to their traditional breeding grounds. The ground in the particular hills when the valembats congregate are soft, with layers of ash mixed in with the soil, and provides an excellent substrate in which the female valembats can build temporary nesting burrows. The males leave soon after mating, but the females stick around, using the safety of their numbers to deter predators while they raise their joeys.
This small pink egg is about the size of a lime, and has an earthy smell to it.
Valembat joeys lack the delicate patterns that adults bear in their fur, but they are still marvelously colored. Males are born with a pinkish hue that intensifies as they age, aided by their affinity for roots with a high about of carotenoids. While females eat tubers with carotenoids as well, they lack the digestive enzymes which produce the pinkish color, and so remain pale in color, save the ribbon-like markings they develop as they grow older. Joey valembats stick close to their mothers for their first year of life, growing more independent after they have weaned and typically leaving their mother's side by a year and a half of age. Even as hatchlings, the joeys have powerful jaws and teeth, so it is best to watch your fingers when handling them.
Adult valembats construct massive tunnels up to a hundred feet long in which to live. During the dry season when food is scarce, valembats will dig for juicy roots and tubers to sustain themselves, and in the wet season, they can occasionally be spotted wandering outside their burrow's entrance at night to graze. The majority of a valembat's diet consists of grass, and although a mature valembat is only about the size of a large cat, they require massive amounts of grass to sustain themselves. As they live deep within the grass forest, and are usually only seen at night, valembats rarely come into contact with humans except when they make their biennial migration. Although herbivorous and less than intimidating to behold, don't be fooled -- valembats are armed with long incisors and powerful claws that can inflict painful wounds. They are heavier than they look, too, and it is not unheard of for valembats to charge and bowl people over when threatened.
Obtained from: Event, Retired
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: February 13th 2016
Sprite art: Tekla | Description: PKGriffin