Australia · daughter · freedom · photography

Pigs, Cockatoos?…..No, Koalas!!

A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.
A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.

As promised, here is the follow-up to my story and photos of the kangaroos I saw at South West Rocks. But be warned, you may not hear what you expected to about our cute little koalas!

Early in August my daughter and her boyfriend moved out of the house they had rented for the last year and of course, mum and dad’s assistance didn’t go astray in helping them move! It was a long, exhausting weekend, but by Sunday afternoon we could see that we had the biggest part of the task behind us.

Just after lunchtime, Ryan went out onto the balcony and when he came back inside he asked me, “Did you hear that bird screeching just then?” I told him that I had, then he said to me, “I think it was attacking a koala!”

“What?! Why didn’t you yell out to me; I could have taken a photo!”, amid thinking “they have koalas around here?!”

And here's a back view, see its fluffy ears?
And here’s a back view, see its fluffy ears?

Throughout the afternoon we continued to hear the screeching bird, which sounded like a cockatoo. But the weird thing was, we could also hear a pig snorting! Emma wasn’t at all surprised by the pig snort sounds though; apparently at a house nearly, they had a pet pig! (hmm, of course, a pet pig in suburban Gold Coast….why not a dog like everyone else?)

After a while it got the better of me and I told Emma that it was time for us to take a break from the packing and cleaning. Armed with my camera we went on a search for this pig, or cockatoo, or koala….whatever it was, I was determined to get photos!

It didn’t take too long for Emma to spot two koalas up in a tree, just across the road from where they lived. I asked had she ever seen koalas here before, seeing as they had lived here for a whole year I suspected there may have been a good chance they had.

The male koala chasing the female up the tree.
The male koala chasing the female up the tree.

“No, never”, Emma told me. How incredible that their final day living there (when I happened to be there with my camera!) was the day we saw them. This was my lucky day!

Suddenly the pig grunting started again, then the cockatoo screeched! And just at the same time as one koala chased the other up a tree!

Chin up exercises?
Chin up exercises?

What I have since learned is that during the mating season, a male koala will often make a loud grunting sound! Did you know that? No? It was news to me too! And if the female is playing hard to get, or not appreciating the males advances, she will screech like a bird! And here you were all thinking that koalas were quiet little cuddly creatures, weren’t you?

Well, that’s what I thought about them. I didn’t know they even made a sound at all! But they are very cute, rather bulky and fury as can be. These photos are a tad fuzzy as the tree they were playing chaseys in was a distance away from me and with other trees in front of the koalas it was difficult to get a good clear shot of them. I hope you can see them clearly enough though to appreciate just how adorable they are.

They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.
They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.

So there you are, both kangaroos and koalas do live in the wild in Australia! We may not see them every day, but what a treat it is when we do. 🙂

A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. :)
A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. 🙂