Sunday, 6 April 2008

One Mile Beach Noah...still on the beach

Little Noah has been "on loan" to us from our friends at Native Animal Trust Fund for the last few months. He is an orphan, like our other joeys, and has been sharing a yard with three girls until he grows big enough to be returned to his home range down south. You can read more about Noah here.

There's been a note on the board for the last week or so that we should attempt to "capture" Noah if he should come down during our shifts as he is just about due for his return home. Since the joeys have a tree in their yard, they keep their own schedule, coming down for leaf when it suits them, often in the middle of the night. Noah generally "assumes the position" in the lowest crook of the tree and doesn't budge.

Cheyne examining Noah

The other girl joeys tend to manoeuvre around the tree to avoid him as he gets a touch grumpy if his sleep is disturbed (even though he's sleeping in a major thoroughfare!). We call him "No Way Noah", cos there's no way any other joey is getting past him without some fierce words. You can read about one such altercation here.

Today, Noah is in the treatment room being de-ticked. He's being collected tomorrow to return home to One Mile Beach.

A total of nine ticks have been plucked off Noah so far (see below). Tick infestations can lead to anaemia in koalas, especially young ones who don't carry the body weight of adult koalas. Despite the good job Cheyne and Amanda are doing, Noah is grizzling as they gently search his fur. After they're satisfied he's clean, he sits on the table, happy as Larry, just looking around with a dopey expression on his face. "Shouldn't I be sleeping?", he's probably wondering.

Cheyne has jumped on the phone to Noah's original carers. It seems that Noah has lost some weight since his last weigh-in, which could be to do with his tick burden. Cheyne and NATF agree that Noah's release should be delayed for a few weeks until Noah beefs up a bit.

Here's a video of Noah just kicking back on the treatment table following his tick search:

He's going to spend a night in ICU to make it easy for the staff to check him for ticks tomorrow. Then he'll be back in his usual spot in yard 6, pending release once around Anzac Day.

It was something of a comedy of errors transferring Noah into a unit for the night. As joeys usually do, he kept swinging his little legs in an effort to free himself from Amanda's grasp:

(Warning: the following video contains mild coarse language).

Click here to see more photos of One Mile Beach Noah.