Meet our Koala Mascot - Sarara. She is currently in the care of the Australia Zoo Animal Hospital. Keep scrolling down, as we will add updates regularly.
Sarara is from the Lawnton area and as such she will be released in the Lawton surrounds. She is with a carer, and the carer and senior vet will provide monthly updates of her progress. She cannot visit us, as she is a wild creature, and the Zoo wishes that we respect all the protocols in this regards.
An update on Sarara. . . .
On arrival into care Sarara was a little feisty. She settled in very quickly and has two other 'friends' of a similar age that have also been orphaned. She gets on well with both of them. It's easy to tell them apart as Sarara has a browner tinge to her coat. She quickly took to her new milk formula and loves her bottles and is happy to munch on a variety of euc leaf.
Phil O’Hanlon from Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors has forwarded the latest photos of SARARA, our adopted koala joey. Phil has conveyed to the students his best wishes and thanks them for being so 'conservation-minded'. Steve Irwin would be proud of them.....as we are.
Deidre, Sarara's carer reports:
Sarara has turned into quite the little leaf eating machine - she is the first to find the new leaf at leaf change-over time in the evening, quickly jumping or climbing to the tree fork with the new leaf. She behaves like she is starving, but the little fat belly and the fact that she is now 2.1 kg would suggest otherwise!
She keeps a keen eye (or nose?) on what leaf is getting placed in the other containers in the enclosure and then will settle on the spot that has her favourite leaf, which is still the blue gum or seeana leaf - she and her friends all like these two species of eucalypt at the moment.
She is being weaned off her milk, down to one feed a day as sometimes she won't want a bottle, or won't drink all of it - maybe she is already full of leaf? She has always liked sleeping with arms and legs dangling and I have attached some pics of her in her favourite sleeping position and spots.
Christmas Holiday updates
Sarara continues to do well, munching her way through a variety of eucalypt leaves. She particularly loves the grey gums that have lots of new soft leaves at the moment. Sarara and her other two 'friends' have left their undercover tree forks for the outdoor cage, where they will be exposed to the sun, wind and rain to get them used to the weather and eventually to life in the wild. There are a few living trees in the cage that branch amongst the tree forks and Sarara loves to sit up high in these trees with the other two koalas. She gets fresh eucalypt leaf every afternoon, but she also eats the leaves of the living gum trees, as good sign that she will know where and how to find food in the wild!
The hot days were un'bear'able for the koalas, and it looked like Sarara and her two friends were melting in the trees with their arms and legs dangling to try to keep cool. They got regular sprinkles of water from the garden hose during the over 40 degree day. Even though they didn't like getting unexpected showers, flicking their ears in annoyance, it cooled them down quite a bit.
We regularly weigh the koalas and Sarara is continuing to gain weight and is staying healthy. She didn't like being caught on weigh day, as the new leaf had just been put out and her 'feasting' was interrupted! She was put in a big bowl on a set of digital scales and wrapped in a towel to keep her still. She now weighs nearly 2.7kg and is doing well. If she keeps gaining weight, she should be ready for release to the wild in the next few months.