Living with the local wildlife

We all think of Koalas as the most cute and cuddly of creatures, they’re one of the most popular Australian native animals and there are many opportunities for visitors to have their photo taken cuddling a Koala. Did you know that they also bite? Well they do and a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of one grabbing hold of my thumb and not wanting to let go, nothing serious but gave me a fright and antibiotics were prescribed as a precautionary measure. It wasn’t the Koala’s fault, he was casually sitting on the side of the motorway minding his own business and I was on my way to the shelter. Koalas are often victims to traffic and there was no way I was going to leave the little fellow (not sure what gender actually) in such a precarious position, I pulled over and with towel in hand walked over to the Koala hoping that he wouldn’t make a run for it and end up under a truck. Not knowing whether the animal was injured or just frightened, I threw the towel around him, picked him up with every intention of taking him to the vet for a checkup and that was when he decided to bite me on the hand. I swore and wondered if he was ever going to let my thumb go, nobody bothered to stop and help and seeing as though he was starting to struggle I let him go into the bush. Apparently a Koala that doesn’t struggle is either in shock, badly injured or very unwell, and this little fellow took off into the bush and up a tree so I am assuming that he was ok. Having a wild animal loose in my car probably wasn’t such a good idea anyway.

Getting bitten by a Koala isn’t terribly common, most people look surprised when I tell them and then start laughing, Hubby being one of them. Even the Doctor and Nurse at the local medical centre found it interesting, they’d seen plenty of other types of animal bites but never a Koala. It makes for a great story, and if I ever have to rescue another Koala I will know to be wary of his mouth as well as the claws and I’m tempted to leave a pair of thick gloves in the car just in case.

I don’t have any photos of my Koala experience, instead please enjoy a cuteness overload of ducklings out for a morning stroll and a curious Wallaby that visited us one afternoon.

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8 thoughts on “Living with the local wildlife

  1. fredrieka September 6, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    all critters great and small find ways to protect themselves, biting is one of them but they are still all love able

    • twoblackdoggies September 9, 2015 / 12:01 pm

      Very true and it won’t put me off rescuing another koala, it just means I probably need to keep gloves and a towel in the car 🙂

  2. Jackie Cangro September 7, 2015 / 12:15 am

    Oh dear, hope your thumb is healing nicely.

    Love your photos. What we call wood ducks here in the US look quite different. They (the males anyway) are quite ornate with red eyes and green/white plumage on the head. I just finished an animal behavior course — online of course — through the University of Melbourne and had great fun getting familiar with the many different Australian species.

    • twoblackdoggies September 9, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Thanks, my thumb is healing well and no sign of infection. US wood ducks sound very pretty, we have a variety that hang around local waterways but the wood duck is the most common and I saw one with 15 ducklings the other day – so cute! The course you did sounds interesting, I’m considering doing some training next year through a volunteer organisation called wildcare but an online course in behaviour would be good to do as well 🙂

  3. Ogee September 7, 2015 / 12:45 am

    Maybe a small crate as well! Somehow, I think something wild and injured will make it into your car and it would come in handy. 🙂

  4. Cherie Basile September 7, 2015 / 9:19 am

    A crate is a very good idea. I must pass that on to my friend and colleague in the library at MG who can often be counted on to bring little dudes she has rescued from the motorway on the way to work in to work with her while seeking help for them. Photocopying paper boxes with little holes cut out have had to suffice : ) And I have seen how scritchy the little guys can get when scared or hurt. I also have no doubt about how sharp koalas are!! I have a picture of me at age 9 at Lone Pine ‘cuddling’ a koala for my photo shoot, with a pained little smile on my face. You can actually see the indents in my arm from where his long claws are holding onto me. I guess he didn’t feel very secure as he was nearly as big as me. (PS I thought this was going to be a drop-bear story !! as it started out just like the last one I read on Facebook : )). PPS Loved the pictures of the ducks. On the way to work a little while ago, I encountered a small family of them walking happily along the edge of the street not far from their pond at Mt Gravatt campus of Griffith Uni — they were on their way, in neat single file, to the Mt Gravatt Primary School up the hill where, I hear, they spent the day in the school swimming pool. Now, that’s a sight I would’ve liked to have gotten a picture of : ))

    • twoblackdoggies September 9, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      I hate seeing our wildlife on our roads, too many of them never make it off them alive so I love that your friend rescues them too. Sadly I see more animals that are beyond rescuing 😦 Glad you like the pictures, I really had to zoom in on the ducklings because their parents were very keen to keep them away from me and I didn’t want them venturing onto the road.

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