Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - koala

I thought I'd stick with my zoo theme for today. My local zoo is the Shoalhaven Zoo and you can find out more about it here. I love it because it's small but has been growing and improving over the last 7 years that I've been visiting (plus it has this awesome slippery dip!). The animals are close to you, most are friendly, and the staff are incredible. They say all the money you spend goes back into improvements, and that's what I've seen - an ever improving and increasing zoo.

So, I took some new-to-Australia visitors to the zoo and the koalas were a favourite (with them, and me!). It helps that at this zoo, you get to sniff and pat a koala, and I've never sniffed one before I went here.

What does a koala smell like? I think it's one of the most beautiful scents I've ever smelled. There's some eucalyptus smell but it's not overpowering or sharp, there's something like lanolin but not as dirty or strong as you find in sheep, there's earthy or tree tones but not enough to pick. The zoo keeper said it was like passionfruit, but it's not quite. I think you need to sniff a koala - it's the best smell out!

Add to the petting and sniffing, one of the koalas had a joey that was newly emerging from the pouch to explore the world. The baby was about 7 months old, and they spend about 5 months hidden in the pouch, and only emerge for short stints until they're about a year old. So this bub was special to of course I took a lot of photos! Here is the koala bub (in many poses) for your enjoyment :)

Poking over Mum's back

Setting off on his own

Stretching the legs

Hiding in the leaves beneath Mum
Looking very cute checking out the world

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