There are always special stories that emerge when the team of D.S.E, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Zoo, local vets and volunteers combine to implement the policy of maintaining a sustainable healthy population of koalas on our Island.
A detailed report of these activities is elsewhere on the website. (Click here)
This is the story of Tiger and Jan Hughes.
Or : A young Koala can be house trained ….sort of
We have Jan, a wildlife carer and in the other corner: Tiger a lonely baby koala in the other.
Tiger and his Mum arrived at the hall and during their initial vet check Tiger was found to need special attention.
“Tiger was found to have badly infected ears. His Mum was sterilised and released, but Tiger had to have his ears operated on, which was done by the head vet from the Melbourne Zoo team. He was given antibiotics and given to me to take care of. Because of his size (2.5 kilos) he has to be kept inside and his ears kept an eye on. He would have died of that infection if he had been released.
But Jan will tell the story:
The first two days of having him in care were a nightmare. He was a very fiesty little boy ( hence the name of Tiger ). He has five milk feeds a day and every time I’d put him in a pouch to feed him he weed on me. After talking to a lady who has over 30 years experience in wildlife caring I decided to sit him on a disposable under pad. When I get him out of his tree to feed him, he sits on the under pad and urinates. It only took a day for him to catch onto the idea.
HE HAS EVEN COME DOWN FROM HIS TREE THROUGH THE NIGHT AND DONE IT. Shame it does not work with the scat. That is still a sweeping up with the dust pan and broom job!
As I told you before, he is inside where we have built him two trees. He can hide amongst the leaves and jump from one tree to the other and on me if I get in the way.
He will have a vet check this week, just to see that the ears are OK. It will be nice when the fur grows back on his ears as they had to shave them when he had the initial operation.
We will update the adventures of Tiger on the website.
I also want to tell you the story of :
KATE and KING KONG
(Well done Kate!!)
As we were very short of carers in the post op area during the sterilisation program I had asked Lucy Clausen from DSE if Kate McKinnon could help. I knew Kate would take instruction and remain calm and level headed. During recovery from their operations the Koalas are kept warm with heat pads, hot water bottles, and a warm blanket. When they first awake they often bite furiously at anything, so we had furry cushions for them to bite on (better that than us)!
As Kate had not handled a koala before I was hoping for a small one for her. But what came off the operating table was “HUGE” The Granddaddy of all Koalas ! He weighed 13.8 kilos. Kate remained calm as she sat with him, sitting him up when it was time, holding him there until it was time to put him in his crate. While kneeling on the floor and lifting a koala that size is no mean feat, our Kate did it with great care and gentleness.
For the record that was the biggest Kola to be done!
Click on pictuers
From 2010 Managment.
Click on photos