Remember when people were (and still are) dying in Africa of Ebola, and nobody in the United States cared, except for that two-week period when we thought the disease may have come here?

Well, now there’s something going on in a different continent that will certainly grab your attention. I know this, because I’m referring to an epidemic that is plaguing animals.

Humans just don’t empathize for other humans that they don’t know. It’s sad but it’s true. Show the average person a video of a complete stranger being punched in the face, and they’ll probably have very little reaction. They might even laugh.

Show the same person a video of a dog being kicked, and they’ll become irate.

We have a weak spot for the defenseless. Mess with animals, and you will be one of the most hated people in America. Just ask Michael Vick.

And that’s why you should immediately start caring about wombats. Like, right now. Drop whatever you’re holding. Even if you’re holding a newborn baby. Do it.

Wombats, which are really just the most adorable, cuddly animals in existence, are currently suffering from an outbreak of a fatal skin disease called mange. Which sounds like a mix between a mango and an orange.

But it’s not. Although somebody should invent that. Mange is a painful skin disease that causes scarring, infection and hair loss, and often leads to mortality. And this is not OK.

Wombats are native to Australia. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to help them. If anything, it means we should help them more. Because if we don’t, then this infection could spread to other lovable animals indigenous to the land down under. Like wallabies, or kangaroos, or, god help us, koalas.

We just can’t let this happen.

Fortunately, a team of researchers led by a medical student named Alynn Martin is trying to fight the disease by placing treatment on adjustable flaps that lead in and out of wombat burrows. Think of it like a cat flap. The wombats leave their home, push through the door, and ointment spills onto them. It’s genius.

This woman should win the Nobel Prize, the Purple Heart, a Grammy and the glowing piece of the radical rock given to winners on the Nickeloden show Guts.

We missed our window to care about Ebola. And our shameless lack of consideration for Africans can be salvaged, only if we start doing whatever it is we have to do to save the wombats.

Use the hashtag, #SaveTheWombats.

Because if we don’t, and these little furballs die out, then the term “wombat” will only refer to the English indie rock band The Wombats. Which is actually a pretty awesome band that you should all be listening to.

You may have never donated a cent to charity in your life. But that’s all right. All sins are forgiven if you contribute to wombat research.

It’s your civic duty.

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