The story of Mac
Mac was an orphaned koala which Jan looked after inside her house for some weeks. When he became well enough Mac needed to be able to play with and learn from other koalas, so Jan and I took a day trip to Rawson with him to another shelter where he had the company of 3 other babies. He will be returned to Jan when he is nearly ready to be released. He will stay with Jan for a week or two to make sure he readjusts to our feed trees and will then go happily back to where he came from.
Jan Hughes remembers that her first encounter with Mac was at 8.15pm on Friday the 8th February 2008. He weighed 2.4kg and he clung onto her so hard 2 people had to peel him off her.
Click on photos
About three weeks later. ( an update by Val Eldridge)
Mac and his friends at Rawson. Notice the tongue out - it was nearly feed time. He is the one in the middle, a bit pushy but then again he was an only child at Jan's
About 2 months later ( an update by Jan Hughes )
Jan Hughes rescued baby Mac some time ago, nursed him and finally with Val Eldridge’s help transferred him to Rawson ( a well established “ crèche “ for baby Koalas ). He has been there ever since.
People keep asking us about him.
Here is a progress report. He is doing well. Being the biggest of the four babies, he is a bit of a bully -rules the roost so to speak. ( Jan can’t get the smile off her face ).
He has grown a lot, but is still in an “ inside / outside “ environment . That is, he is released into a large open cage during the day, but because the nights get quite cold in Rawson, the carer takes all four of them inside during the night.
Jan and Val are not quite sure when Mac will return to our Island. We will let you know so we can give him a bit of a “ Welcome Home “.
Update on Mac 28/08/08
Jan met up with Mac in Morwell recently. When Coleen from the Rawson Shelter handed him to Jan, he put his arms over her shoulders and buried his head into her neck…the way he did as a baby. It was six months since he had seen Jan but he obviously remembered who had provided his food when he was small and needy. Jan marvelled at his current size and weight. Mac is big and healthy. The sad news is DSE has said that rehabilitated koalas are not to be released on Raymond Island. The reasoning behind this is that the trees are stressed and the habitat struggles to support the existing koala population.
We had a fantastic day at Rawson yesterday. How great it was to see Mac all grown up and ready for release. When I first had him in care I named him Maccy Klingon, as I could not get him off me. I always said he would one day become a Big Mac and the photos prove that to be true.
It was great for Val, Kazumi and myself to catch up with Colleen at Rawson as she is a wealth of information when it comes to Koalas. We are so lucky to have her support when we have koalas in care. Her loving care of both Mac and Zac, another young koala I had in care in August last year, is obvious in the photos Kazumi took of "the boys"
Colleen has around 13 koalas in care at the moment, ranging from small joeys to fully grown Koalas, with all sorts of injuries. The boys will be released, along with Adam, not a Raymond Island koala, but one that Colleen has raised from very young, along with Mac.
The country they are to be released in is stunning, and they will be able to range as far as they like. Not like here where the water forms a fence!
The two will be released in a couple of days when the weather is favourable
This is Big Mac giving the wave with the leg. He was having a scratch
Big Mac : Do you think he is saying “ Good Bye “ or just scratching himself ?
Here are two photo of Zac. He was a beautiful "cheeky boy" when I had him in care. He had not changed in appearance, like Mac had. He still has the same "Wingnut" ears he had when he was with me. Jan H