This week brought the first little joey of the season into our care. Little Sophie was found sitting on a fence in Deception Bay, while her mum was high up in the tree. And although Sophie was calling out to her mum, she didn’t come down to get her. Sophie – who weighs less than 500 grams – got really upset and by dark it was obvious mum had no intention of checking on her little girl. Sophie was taken to the wildlife hospital where the vet made sure everything was fine, and so she ended up with one of our carers. For the next two days our rescuers went back to find mum, but apparently she had taken off and there was no possibility to re-unite them. We can now only hope Sophie will accept her human mum and she will grow up to be a beautiful girl.
For the moment she is still very unsettled, and keeping her human mum awake with constant yepping as the poor wee thing misses her mum. We will never know why mum abandoned her, sometimes in the wild the mothers will do so if they know there is something wrong with the baby, or there might be something wrong with the mother. One good thing is that Sophie is already eating pap, so she is able to nibble on some leaf. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that she will grow up to be a beautiful girl and can be released into the wild.
Update June 2015
Sophie is now sleeping most of the day, but from roughly 4 pm until 6 am she will have a bottle every 3-4 hours. She loves her milk, but also loves her leaf. Sophie will eat a lot of leaf overnight and is already getting into the uprights to get to the highest and therefore in her eyes the best leaves of the eucalyptus branches.
Last week she was the star of an article in the Sunday Mail about koalas and the start of the breeding season and here you can see why.
Update September 2015
Sophie is doing well, she is a real little beauty. Nearly weaned from her bottles, she is getting more and more independent. Sophie is a little darling and still loves to get a cuddle from her human mum, but that will have to end very soon.
Update November 2015
Sophie is now being a real koala, no more cuddles from mum and she will have to fend for herself in the large plantation enclosure. Here she can climb real trees and find the leaf she loves most. At 2.8 kg and an excellent body condition score we are confident she will do fine.
Update January 2016
Sophie continues to gain weight and is doing well. She eats tons of leaf and shows no signs of stress or disease. As she was rescued from an area with lots of development and major tree clearing, we have applied for a translocation permit. Hopefully it will be granted, so we can release her more than 5 kms of where she came from, hopefully in some nice bush land where she will have a better chance for the future.
Update March 2016
Sophie is now nearly 3.5 kg and a good body condition score of 7.5 out of 10. The vets gave her a complete health check and gave her the all clear to go. Luckily we received a positive response to the translocation permit, so we can release Sophie in a nice area.
Update April 2016
It is time for her to go. When we opened the carry cage, she leaped out and confidently started to explore the tree. She had a good look around and looked at us as to say “can I stay here for the rest of my life?” Yes Sophie, you can stay here, find friends and hopefully be a mum some time in the future. Good luck girl……