Thursday, 14 February 2008

Today teamleader, tomorrow the world!

Hamlyn Bev
Hamlyn Bev wants out!
From koalawrangler's gallery.

I filled in as teamleader for the first time this week. Amanda is on holidays so I'm being 'her' for three whole Thursdays in a row.

I'd shadowed Amanda several times in the past and even then I'm not one to leave things to chance: I typed up a checklist spelling out everything I had to do, step-by-step.

7.01 Make sure alarm is off - check.
7.02 Turn on lights - check.
7.03 Make sure all koalas present and accounted for in ICU - check.
7.04 Unlock leaf shed - check.
7.05 Make cup of tea. Jiggle bag. Discard bag. Add milk. Check. Check Check. Check.
You think I'm kidding? I'm not kidding - it was painstakingly detailed, especially the part about the tea. I was leaving no room for error. The Idiot's Guide to Koalawrangler Teamleading - a must for every library.

Nothing was going to get stuffed up.

Not on my shift.

I even created a template in MS Word for me to use when copying down all the current koalas' names, yard numbers and formula requirements...complete with columns for charting the amount of the 3-4 varieties of leaf each koala had consumed over night (both fresh and recycled).

So it all went swimmingly.

I went round checking each yard one by one. In the joey yard, I counted three only joeys until, with delight, I noticed one little one asleep in the leaf down on the gunyah haloed in morning light. Someone had gotten up for a midnight snack and fallen asleep in the pantry. It was One Mile Beach Noah, an orphaned joey sent up to us by our friends at the Native Animal Trust Fund. They didn't have the facilities to care for a joey, while we have a fully equipped joey nursery with three other joeys to keep Noah company while he grows. When he reaches a suitable weight, he will be returned to his home at One Mile Beach.

I knew it was Noah since he's the only boy and so he doesn't have a tag in his right ear like the other three girls. When I discovered him there, he looked up at me with the groggiest expression - he was still in the land of nod.

There's been a significant change to yard 9: no Birthday Girl. Thanks to some new wonder drugs (well, wonderful as it turns out for her), Birthday Girl had recently gotten a new lease on leaf. With her newfound pain relief Birthday Girl would think, "Tall tree? No problem!" and, suddenly, no tree was too tall. After being a gunyah-dweller on the mend, she became the yard 9 tree-climber extraordinaire. The trouble was, by staying up in the tree, she wasn't getting her twice-daily formula, nor her daily medication which facilitated her climbing abilities in the first place. Furthermore, she missing out on her usual array of freshly trimmed leaf...

Something needed to be done. We needed, oh I don't know, a band of professional treeclimbers...and that's just what we found. These chaps generously gave of their time and skills, climbed, bagged and brought our Birthday Girl back to earth. She is now safely ensconced in yard 7 on her own, where she can easily continue her treatment. So Bonny Fire has all of yard 9 to herself...she doesn't seem to mind.

Hamlyn Bev
Hamlyn Bev wants out!
From koalawrangler's gallery.

After I've checked all the koalas' leaf and poo, it's time to make up the formula. I've done this many times before, so it's a straightforward process. Jan, Jarred and an international vollie, Lisa, is there. Trish arrives and automatically heads for yard 9, somewhat taken aback about the new "separate bed" arrangement for Bonny Fire and Birthday Girl (who've been bunking together for simply years now).

Hamlyn Bev
Hamlyn Bev, chillin'
From koalawrangler's gallery.

Robyn is supervisor today and, as there's little treatment work to be done, she's happy for me to lend a hand in the yards. I join Jan in yard 10 where there are currently four koalas: Tractive Golfer, Oxley Denise, Hamlyn Bev and Granite Murray.

The beautiful Hamlyn Bev (who is back with us after being virtually raised at the hospital as a joey) is presently sitting on the ground, after having spent the last 10 minutes gambolling about her yard, trying to drum up a feed. She's never backwards about letting you know she wants formula. Apparently the cheeky little sausage bit Peter on the knee the other day to hurry up her tucker... Little scamp! Of course, she can do no wrong in our eyes...

I'm glad to say today's shift went well. Phew!

Click here to see more photos of this week's koala patients recovering at the Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie.