Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rumble tumble

A leisurely lunch at Celestequest Cafe (the small table and chairs on the front verandah) was interrupted today by what appeared at first sight to be a dog fight beginning in the shadows under the oak tree, tumbling awkwardly up the driveway and ending when it crashed into our front gate.

They weren't dogs, although they made a noise like a rather large pack of them. They were koalas. Yes, the one on the left is screaming. The other one is biting. We approached to referee.

The impact with the gate separated them, snowball style, and they paused from trying to kill each other long enough to pose for photos. Then the aggressor decided to retreat and made off up into the oak tree. Yes, koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, not oak leaves, but in the stress of the moment he'd forgotten that.

The smaller koala lay panting and recovering for a few minutes whilst we made sure she was alright. She made off into another tree, the ecologically correct eucalypt this time, limping slightly. There was no blood or open wounds. We think she'll be alright.

Her left paw/hand/foot - for those of you not acquainted with koala physiology - is not broken. Koalas not only have an opposable thumb but have two! On each paw that is. Double the grip on the inside makes climbing very smooth, tall trees like the aforesaid Eucalyptus obliqua much easier. You can often see the scratch marks made by their incredible claws on the new bark of trees.