Well I Did Warn You..
So shall we get it over with all in one go? Yes, I’m sorry, there are going to be a few.
Mike informed me, with his most practiced long suffering look, that we walked 6.4km in one relatively small wildlife sanctuary alone just looking for koalas. Luckily they had a cafe. So we could break for lunch and resume.
“Oy, who goes there..”
But we’ve seen koalas in plenty of other places as well, too many to count. It helps when you’ve developed the knack for spotting them, often jammed into a fork between the tree trunk and a branch.
The koala, a marsupial not a bear, lives almost entirely on eucalypt leaves and only certain species at that. Sadly this diet offers little in the way of energy which is why, with its low metabolic rate, the koala sleeps for 20 hours of every day. If you could ever call them active it’s most likely to be at night.
The population is threatened across Australia as a whole yet on Kangaroo Island, in South Australia, it is booming. So much so that the government has undertaken control measures including sterilisation and relocation. It’s either that or see a decimation of manna gums, the koalas favourite. Bad not only for the manna gum trees, ultimately it could even lead to koalas eating themselves into starvation.
But it is about population management, not significant reduction. There are still plenty of babies about and how utterly adorable they are.
A mum does need her sleep though, even if baby has other ideas..
Now that’s much better.
“And what did you do today then?”
”Just hung around, basically.”
Koalas do move about in daytime. Occasionally. This one has a baby too. Unlike the kangaroos, koalas have a rear facing pouch. The muscles of the pouch have to be strong, for obvious reasons!
A koala can move fast if of a mind..
So much so that we struggled to keep up with the camera..
Believe it or not it’s not unusual for koalas to leap between trees and we did actually witness this happen.
Eucalypt leaves are always greener on the neighbouring tree (fabulous shot, by Mike).
Koalas have poor eyesight but excellent hearing. They seek out food mostly by smell.
They tend to rest in the uppermost branches of the trees, surrounded by leaves, reaching out and pulling across a nearby bunch whenever they fancy a snack.
On a hot day koalas may descend to find a cooler spot but usually, to get a clear shot, a long lens is required. I caught the one above in an unfortunate moment, not realising until seeing the photo blown up on the screen. And doesn’t s/he look indignant. I therefore apologise to it and to you if you’re still having your breakfast. But hey, everyone has to do it. Even the Queen!
Thanks for ‘bearing’ with me for the koala fest..
“Can you see her mama? I think she might have gone. At last..”