Sunday, 18 February 2007

Innes Wonga

Kempsey is perched out in the middle of her gunyah looking rather exposed without any leaf around her. The recycled pot is down one end and she's sitting in the middle of the beam like a fuzzy, squat tightrope walker.

Innes Wonga
From koalawrangler's gallery.
Peter asked me to come in today, Sunday. I haven't worked Sunday mornings before and I find it has a different vibe to other days. Since I've become a 'regular' (one of the koalarati, perhaps?), I find myself getting things done in record time (assuming I don't have ticks to mark up, which involves lots of doubletracking to and from the dayroom).

Cheryle, who I met at koala rescue training, is allocated to yard 9; Emma whose koala pics I discovered on Flickr is working in the ICU.

There's a guy called Ian doing Kempsey Carolina and the joeys. I've got Innes Wonga and Henry (who's way up his tree). I haven't fed Wonga before, he's the fellow with the arthritic left knee. Anne identifies with Wonga's ailment; she's got an arthritic left knee too.

Wonga must be enjoying her food because they're is a TONNE of poop around her gunyah. I recall Ros having trouble feeding him the other day, but today he drinks it all up like a good little bear. I rake and scoop poop in Wonga's and Henry's yards and make up a new recycled pot from their previous day's leaf. I check in to see how joeys are faring -- they're up in the tree but on adjacent branches so perhaps they've made up after their spat on Friday.

Macquarie Peter
Macquarie Peter
From koalawrangler's gallery.
Macquarie Peter
Macquarie Peter
From koalawrangler's gallery.

I suggest to Peter that I might go and help Jim in yard 10; it's got six koalas now which is too much for one person. Jim welcomes the help. He says when he arrived the koalas seemed sleepy, like they'd had a big night. I notice they've all got big outdoor umbrellas over their gunyahs to give them additional shelter. They koalas all look damp as it rained heavily in the night and the umbrellas aren't waterproof. They all appear to have woken up now, except Links Lorna who's burrowed into her leaf. Warrego Martin and Macquarie Peter are quite frisky, jumping off their gunyahs and prowling around the perimeters of their yards.

Chris arrives with the leaf so I go to prepare Wonga and Henry's bundles. There's always a rush for the good cutters -- I prefer the smaller ones with the orange handles as they're easier to wield. I'm becoming a dab hand at leaf cutting now.

Once I've finished with Wonga and Henry I notice that Poor Kempsey is perched out in the middle of her gunyah looking rather exposed without any leaf around her. The recycled pot is down one end and she's sitting in the middle of the beam like a fuzzy, squat tightrope walker. I generally try to leave the pot closest to the koala intact so as to disrupt them as little as possible. So, I decide to replenish Kempsey's leaf and then go back to yard 10 to help Jim. I fix Therese's leaf and then head into ICU. There are three types of leaf today; Chris is going back to get a fourth. The koalas need a bit of choice as this is the usual way they feed -- seeking out different types of desirable leaf.

Chris's second leaf trip is delayed when Chris and Ellen are dispatched on a rescue go out on rescue. When they return, they've brought a big male in a bag. He was found at the corner of Major Innes and Ruins Way. They call him Innes Tony. He barks.

I talk to Barb who's in the treatment room. Her little Steffi has now developed massive bruising on her entire front, no doubt from her fall. Judy tells me about her little joey, Cathie John, who has wet bottom, which is rare in joeys. The vet says he might have contracted it from the mother's pap, which is unusual.

We talk about koala intelligence and agree that they are intelligent about the things they need to be. Unfortunately, koalas don't see dogs as a threat. That must be why they accept us humans around them. It takes a lot for them to lash out.

Click here to view more of today's koala hospital photos.