And there it was! Our first sighting of a koala in the wild of not just one but two koalas — about 25 feet up in the gum (eucalyptus) trees, each on a different tree.
More amazingly, as the cute critters typically sleep up to 22 hours a day, one leapt horizontally, about 10 feet, from one branch to another! He (or she – hard to tell from my vantage point), then promptly tucked in and fell fast asleep.
Bare manna gum trees. Otway National Park on the way to Cape Otway lighthouse. Off Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia.
Koala “drop bear” fallen on the road between Cape Otway lighthouse and Great Ocean Road, Victoria Australia.
Leaving the lovely Cape Otway lighthouse in search of a campsite for the night, we rounded a turn and encountered stopped traffic both in front and facing us. In between in the center of the road, a koala lay on its side, feet and belly pointed our way, its upper ear twitching.
Cautious when it comes to handling wildlife, I puzzled momentarily over what to do. In the past, I’ve used towels to protect my hands when moving a wayward bird or an upset kitty.
Whilst I racked my brain on our towel’s location, the docent we met earlier at Cape Otway lighthouse pulled up behind us, exited her car, grabbed the koala with her bare hands and relocated on a tree. “It’ll be ok,” she assured us. Whew!
A few kilometers later, once again parked cars flanked by standing tourists alerted us to another koala. This little Ozzie sleeping tree bear was a mere 10 feet up a tree.
Our final koala sighting of the day was pointed out to us by some fellow campers later that eve at AireEastCampground. The small, sleepy koala was nearly close enough to touch.
Cape Otway lighthouse docent rescues “drop bear,” bare-handed. Victoria Australia.
What a day! From never seeing a koala in the wild, to seeing five, including one “drop bear.”
Yes, “drop bears” are indeed real. Fortunately for both us and the drop bear, the condition wasn’t fatal.
Still lots of catch up posts. Meanwhile, we’re taking a clockwise tour of Australia over land, in a new-to-us 4-wheel drive. In particular, we’re looking forward to spending time in the wilder portions of Australia’s Western and Northern territories.
Closer view; koala in the Aire East Otway National Park campground.
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