Salamander Bay Shazza is a delightful female joey 'on loan' to us from our friends at the Native Animal Trust Fund in Port Stephens. By 'on loan' I mean, of course, that Shazza no longer needed the special attention of home care and was ready to practise being a proper koala. This means having access to good climbing trees in a safe environment. As the NATF don't have these facilities, Shazza is currently residing in our special training yard containing a lovely big eucalyptus for her to gain climbing confidence until she is ready for her release to Salamander Bay.
You can see Shazza testing out her reversing skills as she makes her way down to the gunyah for a feed in this video:
Normally when a koala joey is old enough to start moving towards independence from her mother, Mama Koala is still nearby lending a watchful eye. As Shazza is sadly an orphan, we at the Koala Hospital fulfil this function to some extent. We have a very "hands-off" approach to joeys - literally this means no touching to ensure that the joey is fully dehumanised prior to release. However, expert care and medical treatment is nearby if ever Shazza should need it. However, it seems that she is doing well, gaining weight and getting around her tree with no trouble whatsoever.
By the way, for our overseas readers, "Shazza" is an Australian diminutive for "Sharon"!