Redcliffe Pier

Saturday, February 18, 2012

KOALA KAPERS

We had a Swiss backpacker stay with us for a while. I took her to see some Koalas at the Koala Centre in Daisy Hill Conservation Park. It is an education centre to teach the public about the decline in population of Koalas and how we can protect them. They care for rescued Koalas, usually babies/joeys that have been found in a mother's pouch after she has been killed by a dog, a cat or a car. When the joey has grown big enough, it is released back into the forest near where it was found.

 Koalas are not bears and we have been taught not to call them Koala Bears any more as they are not related at all. 
 They are marsupials, which means they are a special mammal that give birth to a tiny baby called a joey, which is no bigger than a jelly bean. It climbs up from the birth canal into a pouch and finds a teat to hang onto for the next six months .  Can you see her pouch opening which has a draw string muscle?
 Koalas are nocturnal and they climb down from their safe haven high in the Eucalypt Tree at night and walk from tree to tree eating only Eucalypt leaves from certain species of trees.
 They are usually solitary animals. When they want to mate they raise their head and make a loud growling, grunting noise. It sounds like a pig.
 They sleep most of the day. When it is cold they curl up in a ball but when it is hot they stretch out their limbs.
 And when they wake up they are so darn cute but take note of their big, sharp,strong claws. They are not easy to catch, if they don't escape by scooting up the tree, they will claw and scratch you to shreds. Rangers catch them when they are sick and for research. They use nets and bags. In tourist parks they are tame and you can hold them for photo shoots quite safely.

It is hard to see Koalas in the wild. Last week we had a huge storm and there were two of them in a tree behind our neighbour's house. They used their strong claws to hang on while the wind and rain lashed them to and fro. Can you find them?
 It was hard to hold the camera still under an umbrella and with rain drops on the lens.
You can see his wet coat and he is curled up trying to escape from the elements.
They are gorgeous little animals, a little smelly, up close. It is sad that housing developments are eating away at their habitat. 4,000 per year are admitted to the Koala hospital in Brisbane. 

31 comments:

  1. What a great summary, including photos of Koalas in the wild ... well done coz you are right, they are darned hard to spot. When she was a kid my sister had one of those tourist ones made of Kangaroo fur, it's black plastic nose looked just like the one in the top shot.

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  2. Great shots, great reporting.

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  3. Joan Elizabeth was right, this is a great summary and, as always, great photos.
    When I was living in a small town, at the end of a week of 40+ degree heat, we saw a koala staggering towards the door of the business where I worked. It was broad daylight, and the poor thing looked dazed. Just like that picture of a fireman feeding water to a koala during the bushfires, this thing drank a ton of water before he wandered off again.
    Apart from the mating grunts they are the most wonderful critters, and it will be a tragedy if we can't save them.

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  4. Hi Diane, the Koala is such a cute animal. You got some great shots too. What a nice place to go and see them and that they are being well cared for. I keep wanting to call them Koala bears too, I am catching myself before I say it though. Wonderful critter post. Have a great weekend!

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  5. Kangaroos are becoming a problem in Melbourne suburbs. These suburbs, well they would have been their land. Can we really keep expanding our cities and population by taking the land from kangaroos and koalas?

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  6. Great photos of the Koala. Amazing you have two of them close to your home. They look so cute. Yes the expanding of cities is a world wide problem for all kind of animals, loosing their habitat.

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  7. We humans! We are supposed to be the most intelligent creatures. I have my doubts about that. The way we behave.
    A nice informative post Diane.

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  8. these sweeties come under the title so ugly they are cute, darn cute i think. would love to see them

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  9. Wow ! you had two Koalas at your neighbor ! With Old Butt the kangaroo (was this his name ?)to me you live in a zoo ! I only have cows, cats and dogs here !

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  10. I think that koala's are one of the most beautiful animals in the world. They look like teddy bears.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  11. They are so cute. I've always wanted to hold one and feel how soft they really are.

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  12. yah, i agree they are so cute. I hope i could see one in the future. But their is no koala in our country.

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  13. wow, diane! what cute guys!
    i am always amazed by them.

    love these adorable creatures.

    fantastic shots as well.
    thanks soo much for sharing.

    have a great weekend!

    big hugs!

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  14. So sweet pictures from the Koalas.
    Greetings
    Angela

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  15. Diane, that is a beautiful post about the Koalas. A tragic story for some, as their habitat declines. We have now all the time Koalas in the garden; at my neighbour V. or in my daughters garden. She had lately a mum with her joey it was a naughty baby climbing to the furtherst of the branches! Diane, about the flower. It is a Heliconia but not sure which one as there are so many similar ones.

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  16. Great post about Koalas.
    For such timid animals, they can make a lot of noise at night, which leaves people who unknowingly camp near them for the first time wondering what is out there!

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  17. Such an interesting post, Diane. I knew they were marsupials, but I did not know their habitat was being reduced at such a fast pace.

    How sad. They are sure darling little animals. Thanks for sharing. ...Marsha

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  18. Wonderful post, Diane. The teacher coming to the fore! Of course, there are no Koalas up here in the tropics, but I've seen them hanging around in the Gum trees near the park in the Brissie suburb where my son and grandchildren live. They are indeed very hard to spot!

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  19. Great informative post Diane.
    I am especially pleased to note that you mentioned how they can rip you with those claws. I saw one which was captured and got out of the bag it was in when it was being taken to a safe place. The car seats were shredded! The koala was eventually subdued and taken to the safe place. The good samaritan and owner of the car was in a state of shock!
    They sure are hard to spot up in the trees.
    And holy hell can they make noises in the mating season - fog horns in the bush! ha ha.
    Well done Diane.
    Colin (HB)

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  20. OH , they are so cute!! It's a shame that their habitat is being taken over by urban sprawl.
    We watched a tv program about a week ago about the kangaroos near Canberra that are learning to adapt to urban living. Maybe the koalas will too.

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  21. Whenever I hear of Koalas being refered to as Koala Bears I can annoyed and have to remind myself that other countries may not know that they are not bears they are just Koalas........this post also brought up memories of my childhood going to visit my Aunty Nita and stopping to look at the Koalas on the way, thank you for that it is a good memory..........

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  22. Thanks for the education about Koalas. Your pictures are wonderful. I did find the two koalas in your neighbor's tree, but it took a while for me to find the second one. I hope the koalas can be saved from extinction.

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  23. Koalas are so very cute! Great series.

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  24. Thankyou for these rare photographs of koalas in the wild. A little to the south of here, around Trentham, signs are up on the roadside warning of koalas and wombats. Tragically there is a lot of road-kill. It is good that so much effort is being put into preserving them.

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  25. I held a koala bear when I visited the zoo outside Sydney..it was very tame...a nice experience! The kolas you took photos of looked pretty lively! I'm glad an effort is being made to help them thrive in the wild.

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  26. Same can be said for some children - "gorgeous little animals, smelly up close."

    Love your photos Diane. I think it's absolutely disgusting how some "humans" use them as target practise, filling mums and babies with rifle pellets, and leaving them to die. Thank goodness for the specialised koala hospitals!

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  27. Cindy Lanhe, I love your comment about children! hee hee hee

    Carol

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  28. Oh the koala is so gorgeous Would love to see one in real one day

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  29. Thank you for this informative post -- and spectacular pictures! We saw some years ago at the San Diego Zoo, but I learned more from reading your post.

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  30. Thanks for the info Dianne. Wow, I learned a lot from your post. The koalas are so darn cute and cuddly, but I sure wouldn't try to catch one in their natural environment! That much I knew. Excellent shots!

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  31. Make sure you report any sightings of Queenslands's koalas (healthy,sick and dead)in the wild to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre (07) 3299 1032 :)

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