Remember the marsupial lothario who was pursuing Roto Abigail, the wild koala mum who lives just outside the hospital grounds near Roto House? He's been eyeing up some of our female patients for a while now, so it was decided that Roto Randy, as he's been dubbed, should be relocated to an area with healthy females, not those recovering from motor vehicle accidents, koala flu, and the like. The last thing our girls need is a male grunting and snuffling about the place while they're recuperating.
Lighthouse Barry has also re-entered the wild, which is a relief, since we could barely keep him on his gunyah once he was transferred outside. He kept climbing up onto his roof and John, Jim and Pete took turns in propping a pole up for him to ease himself down to the ground.
Perks Chris is still doing his border patrol, trotting in regular steps around his yard. Emma's just finished Chris's yard and is starting on the koala in yard 1. The gate to the adjacent yard is open, which is unusual. She points skyward and I train my eyes up the tree in the next door yard.
Perks Chris & Lighthouse Barry
From koalawrangler's gallery.
Just then Peter pops his head in to see if I'll join him on a rescue. Two koala sightings have been made within only a few blocks of the hospital. It constantly amazes me how embedded in suburbia our koalas are. The first one is behind a block of flats opposite Flynn's Beach. A shirtless fellow emerges from his apartment to describe how he saw a koala ambling up the driveway with a sore leg. There's a large fence the separates the flats from a clutch of trees. Pete spots the big fellow high in one of these trees and far out of reach of even our longest poles. Unless he voluntarily moves to a more accessible spot, there'll be no getting to him, which is a shame since he obviously needs some medical care.
I've got my hands stretched out before me holding on tight to the neck of bag. I don't want to rest the koala against myself as they've been known to tear through the bag on occasion. So this koala deadweight is giving my bingo wings a workout. I walk quickly to the car and sit in the back with Dave next to me. We're only a a few streets away so in no time Dave's on the treatment table being towelled off by Peter. John and Jim get to work preparing Dave a new unit with fresh leaf. He looks like a new koala when he gets delivered to his room and sets upon the leaf straight away. The camelia bush obviously wasn't providing must in the way of sustenance.
I scan the day book to find out about recent activity in the hospital. I'm saddened to see that Oceanview Terry was brought in DOA. He was one of the successful patients from the university chlamydia drug trials from last year.
Little Oxley Cori is a tiny 440g joey who was found miraculously alive sitting under a tree. He's gone straight into home care with one of our special koala foster mums. Comboyne Ken is another koala in home care. He's from an area about an hour inland from us here at Port Macquarie. He was covered in soot from the local bush fires and is suffering a broken wrist and general poor body condition. Speaking of soot, a recent patient Anna Bay Sooty has been sighted near a youth hostel with her baby Smudge. It's not often we find out that our ex-patients are doing well.
Click here and here to view more of today's koala hospital snaps.