Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Peter Garrett meets Birthday Girl

The Honorable Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment, visited the Koala Hospital today. He pledged his support for the addition of koalas to the threatened species list.

First he met with Barb who told him about hand-rearing the joey, Settlement Point Bea:

Earlier I had caught young Bea enjoying her lunchtime snack on film, here:

Then the Hon. Mr Garrett met with our 22-year-old pride and joy, Birthday Girl:

...and then shared a bit of choccy cake with Cheyne and Bob:

In other news, the gorgeous Oxley Highway Matt, he of the broken pelvis from yesterday's post, decided he was much better today and escaped his yard. He was located first thing this morning, pottering around the leaf shed (obviously wondering when breakfast was arriving).

He's been relocated one yard over where there is a nice tree for him to climb, complete with "trainer wheels" (i.e. a pole extending directly from the gunyah to the tree). Once his pelvis is fully healed, he'll be released back to the real world.

Click here to view more photos of Peter Garrett's visit to the koala hospital today.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Oxley Highway Matt

"Have you met Matt?" Peter asked me as we headed towards yard 5.

There were no leaf pots on the gunyah, the usual sure sign that a koala was occupying that yard. And no sign of a koala either, that is until I approached the fence and looked down...

Two large buckets of water were arrayed on the ground and spilling over with bunches of fresh eucalyptus leaf. Peering from between this leafy arrangement was a most extraordinary sight: a breathtakingly beautiful koala with a pink speckled nose. He was sitting most serenely among the gum tips in what looked to be a dog basket! The paw-print pattern on the basket lining was something of a giveaway.

Oxley Highway Matt is a young adult male koala who was hit by a car on the Oxley Highway. He suffered a broken pelvis but is otherwise a beautiful specimen of koalahood. In the morning sun, his white chest was gleaming so brightly that I could actually observe the journey of two tiny tick nymphs making their way up towards his chin. His fur was otherwise a healthy grey and his ears were round and bushy like he'd just been to a salon.

He looked remarkably "chilled", considering his predicament. He is able to climb a little but will spends most of this early part of his recovery down at ground level. The basket is filled with soft towels and the bedding is changed every day. The vollies also give him lovely new bunches of leaf each morning and refresh them in the afternoon with a spritz of water.

While I was there, I offered him a sprig of eucalptus and took it and a had a nibble. What a chilled out koalavidual!

See Matt chilling out on video here:

Click here to view more snaps of Oxley Highway Matt.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Clover's a dad!

One of our former residents, a male koala called Livingstone Clover, has done us proud. Clover was unable to be returned to the wild due to a hindleg injury, so he was 'retired' to Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park back in late 2007. Except that he's not of retirement age, and aside from his gammy leg, is an otherwise healthy breeding male. So Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park thought he'd be perfect as a stud male for their posse of breeding females.

Things started out slowly, without much to show for Clover's presence during the the first 18 months. Then, lo and behold, Clover fathered not one but TWO joeys with two different female koalas. One is too little to be showing itself out of the pouch, but the other fellow, an as-yet-unnamed male joey has been delighting carers and visitors at the Park in recent weeks.

There is a interesting story about the mother of the joey. She was conceived at Dreamworld, where her mother had been artificially inseminated with assistance from researchers at the University of Queensland. The resulting joey was named Daiquiri, after the program initials: Dreamworld Artificial Insemination Queensland University. And now Daiquiri's become a mum the old-fashioned way with our Livingstone Clover.

So we feel bit like proud grandparents here at the Koala Hospital. We're glad that Livingstone Clover has done his bit to boost koala numbers and look forward to photos of baby no. 2 when s/he decides to give us a peep. Meanwhile, let's ogle that cuddly little joey some more: