A visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland is highly recommended, for children and the young at heart it is a fabulous way to spend a day. As soon as you walk through the entry gate you will smile at the sight of koalas sitting among tree branches, munching away on eucalyptus leaves or having a nap. These beautiful creatures, like so many of our native flora and fauna are victims of progress, their natural environment destroyed by developers and their lives threatened by domestic animals and traffic. The wildlife sanctuary does a wonderful job of raising awareness of the plight of our native animals, educating children and caring for the sick and injured at their wildlife hospital.
There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the animals. For a fee you can have your photo taken cuddling a koala or you can buy food for the lorikeets and kangaroos and feed them by hand. We didn’t do any of that, however we did venture into the kangaroo enclosure and took great pleasure in patting young kangaroos while they were dozing in the sunlight. The largest and oldest of the male kangaroos was taking a nap near the gate, at 8 years old he has fathered plenty of kangaroos, the second male is 4 years old and not quite as large although one of the volunteers told us that his nickname was Fatty.
My friends and I spent a day there recently and we loved every minute. When our legs grew weary and our stomachs hungry we hopped on the people mover train and enjoyed a ride through the park and selected a lunch venue. The sanctuary’s rainforest environment is filled with the sound of birds calling and at times, howling dingoes, the train passes by the enclosures of kangaroos, wallabies, water birds and the Tasmanian Devil. Cameras and phones in hand we took hundreds of photos of creatures we don’t often get to see as well as a few that we will never see in the wild because their numbers are low and they are on the endangered list. I regretted not taking a camera with better zoom than my iPhone, the digital zoom on an iPhone really isn’t great and many of my photos look more painterly than photographic.
8 yo Male Kangaroo with a volunteer
Young kangaroo enjoying the sun
Hairy nosed Wombat
Dingoes – where do they come from
Having a stretch
About the Tree Kangaroo
Cassowary – huge birds and quite dangerous with their sharp talons and beak
The other half of our coat of arms, the emu
Where to start?
Time for a swim
Water Monitor, these little fellows were everywhere
People can walk amongst these wonderful creatures in this environment but not recommended in their natural environment.
This morning I noticed what looked like a furry, brown bottom in the fork of a eucalyptus tree to the left of our front yard, to my great delight it was the cute little bottom of a koala. We’ve been living in our house for over 7 years and have seen few koalas, we’ve seen plenty of possums, wallabies, lizards and birdlife but was only my second sighting of a koala in the bushland next door. As you can imagine, there was much excitement and I quickly ran for my camera as did a friend who had been visiting. We stood at the bottom of that tree for ages, taking photos from every possible angle, I even braved the scrubby surroundings beneath the tree (there could have been snakes or spiders concealed) to get a closer look. With so many photos of this gorgeous creature I couldn’t choose just a couple of shots to share 🙂
The little fella slept, scratched and slept some more, moving occasionally to escape the heat of the sun. It was hard going back indoors knowing that we could miss any attempt he or she made at relocating. Being such a hot day with temperatures predicted to reach the high 30s (degrees celsius), I decided to leave a bucket of water at the base of the tree in case the koala was thirsty when he or she eventually moved on.
Now it is late in the afternoon and I have been to check on the koala and our little furry bottomed friend is happily munching on eucalyptus leaves high in the tree. Although it is absolutely wonderful to see one of our native animals in the natural habitat, I hope the koala moves deeper into the bush where it is less likely that he’ll be injured by dogs or hit by a car.