From Anne in Adelaide, Australia: a koala closer to home

27 October.

Why is he on the ground?

I was going to write a post about the relaxing of restrictions in Victoria. They have had a very serious lockdown in Melbourne for 164 days. Everyone is so relieved that at last Victoria has had two days of no infections.

Instead, I have another story about koalas. On my way to our garage I noticed a dark shape hunched under a small eucalypt. It was a male (a buck) koala huddled over in the shade. I thought he might need water – although it is not a hot day. So, I took down a basin of water and offered it to him. He did not seem to be scared at all but drank steadily for a while.

I know that one of the signs of a sick koala is a tendency to stay on the ground. The ground is a dangerous place for them. So, I phoned up an organisation called Koala Rescue. A young lady arrived within half an hour with a large pet container. Using a towel for protection she picked up the koala from behind and placed him safely in the box. She said you have to be careful as their claws are very sharp, but they are not aggressive. Just frightened.

With koala sound effects and birds singing

She thought that he had been in a fight and also he might have a virus. Koalas often get chlamydia. So my koala was off to hospital. I will be informed of his progress and when he’s better he will be returned to our property. Koalas are territorial. There is a shortage of habitat for koalas and they have been moving into urban areas. There they come into contact with domestic dogs. Furthermore, koalas have no road sense.

My koala did not seem to mind being photographed. So enjoy some close-ups.! Nothing much happens with koalas unless they are fighting.

Lots of chomping sounds. Eucalyptus leaves are not pliable or soft. They take some chewing! Note the signs of fighting on his nose. I think a doe was involved …

For anyone who is used to the animals of Africa, it is a very subdued wildlife interaction.

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