Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Koala Corridor

You may recall that when we visited the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie (which was only about two kilometres from the house we were staying in) we were told that the area around the Koala Hospital was a koala corridor and that over the years if a koala could not successfully be rehabilitated to its original area but was able to remain in the wild it was released in the area around the hospital.

As the road passes the koala hospital there are signs of koalas warning drivers of the possibility of koala in the area.  Now we have seen those signs in many areas as we have lived and travelled throughout Australia.  Have we seen a koala previously in the wild (not taking into account our visits to Pound Bend in Warrandyte in Victoria when we specially went looking for them knowing they were in the area)?  No, no, no.

So when Peter was sitting at the dining room table in the house working away at the computer and said to me that there was a koala in the tree opposite I said to him, "don't be stupid, that isn't even a gum tree".  He was determined there was a koala, and I was just as determined he was making it up.  It sounded too similar to the "there are whales out there" that he often commented on as he picked up the binoculars to confirm his statement, but I still hadn't seen any whales.  So to prove him wrong, I said I was going out to see, so out I went. (Goes to show I was Probably right about the whales as well :-) )

I have to say I was wrong - now that is a big statement for me!  Sure enough, in the frangipani tree opposite (and definitely not a gum tree) was sitting a koala.  How Peter saw it from inside the house, but he was definitely correct.

Now how impressive was that - not only was this koala in the wild, but it was directly opposite the house we were staying in.

I then got concerned for it (of course after I had to call my apology to Peter who wasn't going to be happy until I had).  Was it in danger, had it got lost, it was small had it separated from the mother?  All I could think of was "should I report this to the koala hospital?".  There was no one about so I decided to knock on the door of the house where the tree was and see if anyone was home.  Sure enough there was a lady home, she had not seen the koala but came to check it out.

She didn't go near the koala, as they are wild and have very sharp claws, but considered that the koala was okay.  As this is a koala corridor they periodically get a koala moving from tree to tree or wandering up the street and said that one often spends quite a bit of time in one of the trees in the garden of where we were staying.

The koala was tagged with a yellow tag so was known to the hospital (as all animals who have been treated are tagged for future reference),

While we chatted the koala came further down the tree, and before long when it thought we weren't watching it jumped down and scrambled off down the street towards another tree.  It was quite safe, there were no cars around, and did not show any distress at all.

It was a wonderful encounter with a koala going about its normal day and a real treat and a superb memory of Port Macquarie.  And yes, Peter was right!

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