Living on our property has always been a relaxing experience. The rainforest, the seasonal creek and the wildlife all add to a tranquil experience. We’re often visited by native wildlife. Majestic and curious Eastern Grey Kangaroos, shy Swamp Wallabies, bandicoots, even a visit into the lounge room on a wet and rainy day by an echidna, all add to the experience of living in the Australian bush.
For the last 10 years I’ve heard the bellows of koalas. I’ve rushed out at night with a head torch only to come back disappointed by never laying eyes on these wonderful creatures within our property. They are hard to spot. Being active at night means we sleep while they are moving around. Of a day they sleep and often high up in the canopy, nestled between branches and out of view from the ground. The bellowing noise they make almost sounds like a pig – a rather magical pig that somehow has managed to climb a tree!
This morning was different though. After hearing a bellow, loud and clearly very close I wandered along one of the bush tracks I’ve created and there on a tree was a koala. Finally I can confirm we have not one, but at least two koalas. I looked at them for a while, marked the trees they were in so that I had a recording and location of the species of tree, and of course grabbed the camera. Before too long I realised that was enough perving and it was time to leave them alone.
I’ve often felt a great sense of responsibility by being the custodian of a tiny section of Australian bushland, but after seeing these two koalas it really does raise the idea of responsibility to a new level – to live carefully and gently and preserve what we have.
Forests are more than the trees we can see. They are home to our native wildlife and that means living with that in mind whenever we think of grabbing the chainsaw or letting the dog go for a run through the bush. After seeing many local domestic dogs wandering through our bushland I just hope everyone can keep in mind that we share this place with some truly fascinating native wildlife and it’s up to all of us to to act responsibly.