SO often the news we hear about koalas is one of habitat destruction and being on the brink of extinction.
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This week however, this much loved Australian marsupial has had a positive news story with koala watchers across Port Stephens delighted with the discovery of a new koala joey.
Naming rights were given to Hunter Water, who are major sponsors of Port Stephens Koala, and they chose Patu, which is a Wonnarua word for water.
This koala joey has had the most special entry into the world.
His mother, Eila, herself had a lifesaving rescue when she was caught up in the December 2018 Mambo Wetlands fire.
It is thought that Eila climbed a tree after the fire had passed through causing her to receive serious burns to her hands, feet, and chin.
Her joey, Cohen had been on her back so escaped serious injury and was released back into the wild on Australia Day, 25 January 2019.
That her joey was able to survive the trauma of the fire has been put down to, as stated in a press release, Eila’s “motherly instincts and the care she received upon rescue during intensive care.”
Little Patu was discovered to be growing in Eila’s pouch just after Easter.
Now he has grown fur, has come out of the pouch, and enjoys riding on his mummy’s back.
A statement released by Hunter Water and Port Stephens Koala stated, “As Patu continues to grow, his carers will continue with minimal-to-no eye contact, touching or talking.”
“This is because it is hoped Patu will eventually be released back into the wild, hopefully at the same time as his mum, so he needs to be as wild and unhumanised as possible to ensure the best possible outcome.”
Although statistics vary on this matter, the Department of Environment recently accepted the estimation of there being up to 800 koalas living in the Port Stephens area.
Patu is looking for $50 adoptions, and to support Patu, go to https://portstephenskoalas.com.au/product/patu
By Heather SHARP