Friday, 27 August 2010

Poor Coastlands Steve!

My heart really went out to Coastlands Steve today. Firstly, it’s the second time he’s been in that, that I’m aware of. Last time, he was hit by a car and spent considerable time in homecare under the watchful eye of Joyce. Now he's back in the Hospital again. And today, he was a bit out of sorts.

He was missing from his yard when Pete did his morning rounds. At first, he feared Steve had taken off into Macquarie Nature Reserve, but, no, he was much closer at hand. He had travelled from his own yard 1 to yard 3 just across the way.

Yard 3 is home to Amira Ruby, a gorgeous little female koala who delighted us with her placid demeanour and range of delightfully coloured bandages during her time in ICU.

When Pete found Steve in Ruby's yard, Steve was looking a bit sorry for himself. He'd scraped a bit of 'bark' off his nose - possibly from colliding with the colourbond fence during his escape attempt. The fences are positioned at least 2 metres apart, since that is the maximum distance a koala can jump. However, it IS mating season again. I know this for sure as I heard our local wild koala, whom we've dubbed Bonky Bill, letting his mating call ring out through the neighbourhood for the first time this season. Spring is around the corner and so is mating.

Perhaps Steve thought Amira Ruby looked like a bit of alright. Pete suspects that - although she looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth - Ruby probably put up a bit of a fight. So not only did Steve scrape his nose in the process, he also probably got a bit of biffo for his efforts when he got there.

Poor old Steve! No wonder he was looking a little sorry for himself this morning. So I made sure I picked him an EXTRA big fluffy bundle of leaf and decked his gunyah out like it was a Christmas tree.

I got to see loads of other koalas I didn't expect to today. Newport Bridge Gloria has been back in for a while, but as she's been sharing the expanses of yard 9 with Birthday Girl, I've barely seen her down on ground level.

Today, she came down to visit and she looked just like I remembered her. We have a bit of a 'history', you see. I first encountered Gloria during her time on the University of Sydney research trials back in 2007. She made her way through the treatment, but had been in a number of other times since. During one particularly memorable visit, I made the brilliant decision to transfer Gloria from the ground to the gunyah to make it easier for a volunteer to feed her. It all went pear-shaped. She bit me...HARD...luckily connecting with my fingernail, or else she would probably have bit through my finger. And, worse still, I kind of, well, let her drop out of my grasp as the pain was just excruciating! Gloria was fine, she just sort of tumbled free and made her own way up on to the gunyah. Phew!

Today, there were no such dramas fortunately. She looked keen to see me but I'm not deluding myself; it's only because she mistook my camera for a feed pot.

She followed me all over the place, to the point that I was concerned she might leap on me. Fortunately Peter arrived with a basket for transporting koalas. Gloria was to be released this morning! Peter showed he how koala handling was really done by effortlessly plucking Gloria off the gunyah and placing her in the basket.

Gloria has been admitted 8 times already - most recently for motor vehicle accidents; fingers crossed she still has another life left.

Another koala I didn't expect to see today was Oxley Kaylee. Since having her rear left leg amputated, she has been doing marvelously well.

I almost never see her down from her tree. Brooke had cleaned her yard and I set about preparing his leaf. Usually I spray the leaf before placing it in the pots. It's trickier having to juggle a bunch of leaf as you spray it, but it's preferable to showering the koala! In Kaylee's case, she was nowhere to be seen so I popped the last bunch in the pot and turned to fire up the hose. But in the time it took for me to turn around, there she was! She can get up quite a speed on only one back leg! It's incredible watching her thigh joint rotate under her fur as she moves about.

Another old friend is back in ICU. Lake Private was in with us back in 2007. He was found wandering about, disoriented, so he's back with us for a little R&R. Pete asked me to feed him and he lapped it up like he remembered it well. Hopefully, he will get some energy back after a little rest and TLC at the Hospital.

Click here to view more of today's koala hospital snaps.