Sunday, 18 March 2007

Morrish Steven

On the way out I'm joined by Jim who tells me "I got chased by Sandfly Jye today". Tell me about it. One of the other vollies got Jim on video doing circuits around the gunyah with Jye in hot pursuit. If the guy wins Funniest Home Videos, Jim reckons he's entitled to at least half.

Morrish Steven
From koalawrangler's gallery.
It's a dark, grey day today, after a dark and stormy night (as Snoopy says in Peanuts). It rained for a good 45 minutes during the night so the grounds are all wet; the aviaries sodden; and I can only imagine that there are some dripping koalas up in yard 10.

I start the day in ICU, something I haven't done in a long time. This is the koala cutting edge -- all the newest arrivals wind up in these indoor cubicles where they're closely monitored. Morrish Steven and Lake Private are new inmates. Anna Bay Miles, Jupiter Cheryl and Innes Tony are still there. Innes Tony is a wet bottom, now with affected kidneys.

Tozer Tom has been brought back inside from yard 10. He kept knocking over his umbrella so they removed it, but he was getting drenched being out there without cover. He's asleep when I go in with his food. I draw up a stool and start talking to him gently. I tentatively push the syringe through the leaf towards his mouth and he starts to drink. I wonder whether he is really awake; every time I pause to refill the syringe, he bows his head and nods off.

I set out to start on the non-wet-bottom units before the wet-bottom ones. Lake Private has climbed down to the lower beam on his gunyah to get to his leaf. I decide to leave him to it and start down the other end.

Morrish Steven, a newcomer, looks at me with interest as I enter his unit. He's got a shiny grey tick on his left hind leg, right where his upper claws are dangling. I don't want to risk a swipe if I go to pluck it off front-on. Hopefully, he'll turn into his leaf more and provide me with a better opportunity. He's clearly been climbing up and down his gunyah, since there is a lot of bark shavings on the ground and the gunyah looks dishevelled.

Both of his leaf pots look like they've been trampled. Most of the branches are snapped and dangling over the edge of the leaf pot, out of reach. I collect the best leaf and trim it back and water it, before refilling his pot. He starts chewing the leaf eagerly like it's fresh. That will tide him over until the new stuff arrives. For some reason, there's no water or dirt, which I also fix. Steven turns towards the old-fresh leaf and I act fast: it takes two firm tugs to release the tick. It's not a full one, by any means, so it fits into one of the small phial in the dayroom.


Jupiter Cheryl
From koalawrangler's gallery.
Next I service Jupiter Cheryl's unit. She's perched in the middle of her gunyah, just looking out. Emma and Danae are working on the other units. I pop my head in Anna Bay Miles' unit. He's not a well koala. He keeps gnawing at his own knee. I'm not sue what that signifies. He's still around, which is good; but, I'm not sure for how long.


Anna Bay Miles
From koalawrangler's gallery.
I head outside to see if John needs help in the aviaries. He's still got Ellenborough Nancy to do. I'm drawn to her for some reason; she's a challenge. It all goes well this morning. I replace her towel down one end and am able to pat her bottom to shift her down the other end. She then decides to climb down and range around the floor. She doesn't seem too interested in me, although I keep an eye on her. I swiftly tie down the other towel in time for her to return to the gunyah. The floor is sodden after the rain; her newspaper is dripping wet and full of poop. I scoop it all up and lay new paper down thickly.

When the new leaf arrives, I help John finish the aviaries. Sweet little Condon Geoff tucks into the tallowwood leaf immediately. He's out here on post-treatment observation. Hopefully that means he'll be released soon.

Siren Gem
Siren Gem
From koalawrangler's gallery.
The girls have finished the ICU by this time. Emma has managed to catch Siren Gem down from his tree and is feeding him his formula. I sneak a little pat while he's distracted with feeding, before heading home.

On the way out I'm joined by Jim who tells me "I got chased by Sandfly Jye today". Tell me about it. One of the other vollies got Jim on video doing circuits around the gunyah with Jye in hot pursuit. If the guy wins Funniest Home Videos, Jim reckons he's entitled to at least half.

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