Photo/Illutration

Editor's note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.

Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://t.asahi.com/360lives), where you can watch all the previous videos.

IKEDA, Osaka Prefecture--Satsukiyama Zoo here keeps five common wombats, the marsupial characterized by its big, flat nose, small eyes, round body, and adorable way of waddling on short legs.

Three of the wombats, including Ko, a young male, and Yuki, his partner, came from the Australian city of Launceston, with which Ikeda has sister city ties, in autumn 2017.

It was our goal to capture the couple on camera, but zookeeper Yohei Takaoka said it is rare for them to show up together.

The wombat, a cautious animal and sensitive to noise, lives underground in burrows.

Only Yuki was in the exhibition area on the day before the shooting, and Ko was a no-show during three hours of waiting.

The next morning, only Ko was seen in the exhibition area. One hour later, Yuki finally crawled out of the burrow, carefully checking out the surroundings. When the pair started walking side by side, there was barely enough time to place the video camera inside the exhibition area.

Living in areas in southeast Australia, including Tasmania, the wombat, which is covered with stiff fur, is a marsupial mammal like kangaroos and koalas.

Its name apparently comes from an aboriginal word that means “flat nose.”

Common wombats grow to about 80 centimeters. By day they stay in burrows they dig with powerful claws, and at night they emerge to eat grass.

When they are attacked, they dive headfirst into a tunnel and use their sturdy rumps made of cartilage to block the predators.

About 70 animals of 12 species are kept for exhibition at Satsukiyama Zoo. Admission is free.