Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Friday, February 10, 2012

Waiting for the Koala to wake


These bundles of cuddly fur were asleep all over the Lone Pine Kaola Sanctuary. If one did awake, it was to move ever so slowly for a eucalyptus leaf or to grab another sleeper.

Koalas sleep 20 hours a day we were told. What do they do in the other four?

The fund-raising tourist attraction is to have your photo taken while you cuddle a koala. You could also opt for a photo-less cuddle. We decided we just wanted the cuddle, without the photo. Each cuddler was instructed to hold the hands in a particular position, fingers intertwined to form a cradle at belly level. So we wouldn’t exactly snuggle the cute creature at neck and cheek. We also noted the long slothlike claws on the koala.

The line snaked around the enclosure where the cuddle-trained koalas were kept. One hundred and thirty koalas live in this sanctuary as well as kangaroos, a platypus, cassowary, twenty or so snakes, eagles, wombats and a golden haired possum that stretched two metres with tail extended. There’s a “retirement home” for the older koalas.
If he can sleep anywhere... 
About five from the front, we heard the trainer announce that she had to change the koala. A greeny yellow ooze was spreading along the arm under the koala which was curling down for a nap.

Well, we had time to consider, was this pc – koalas working for their keep? Were we willing to risk a cuddle for a poo? We left the line, content to be clean and carry away lots of our own photos. Look at them carefully – sure you can see similarities with other sleepers you know.

On another day, we walked under eucalyptus trees in the Noosa National Park. We were fortunate to see a koala high up over the path. That night on the news, park officers and residents lamented the loss of koalas in the wild. We are told that only three koalas still live in Noosa; and count ourselves lucky to have seen one of these.

One more thing to remember about the koala - it cares for its young in a pouch. It is a marsupial. It feeds exclusively on eucalyptus leaves - but even with the abundance of eucalyptus trees around, the dwindling numbers suggest that something else is missing. The name koala - "no water" - is supposed to refer to the fact that these animals do not seem to need water beyond what they get from the leaves.

...anyhow,

...anytime


... he must be a koala!

Just leave me alone nuh! And remember, I am not a bear - just koala.

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