"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.