Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Koala Garden...

Jinka and I
Last week, when I travelled to Kuranda by skyrail, I did not have the time to tour the small sanctuary in the village where they have rainforest animals, including koalas, on display. As I journeyed further north to Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation and Cooktown this week, I kept thinking about my missed opportunity with the koalas. I was hoping that I would have another chance to see them before heading south. (Queensland is the only state in Australia where you can actually hold a koala.)

On my circuit of the tablelands in North Queensland; beautiful, rich farmland where growers and ranchers raise dairy cattle, beef cattle and numerous fruit crops; I stopped for the evening at a caravan park in Atherton. Preparing my usual sardine and brown rice dinner that evening, I met one of my neighbors in the park. Her name was Prue, (NOT short for Prudence). She works part-time as a foster-care provider for a young aboriginal girl of 14. Prue’s other job, however, is as a caretaker for the koalas at the garden in Kuranda! I told her I had missed my chance to see them earlier and she invited me on a personal tour of the small refuge.

I returned to Kuranda yesterday and was treated to free admission by the zookeeper, who said to me, “Any bloke of Prue’s is alright by me, Mate. Come on in!” (Being a ‘bloke’ is a positive thing… I think!?!) I got a chance to spend some quality time with Jinka, a two-year-old male koala, I also had the occasion to hold one of the blackheaded pythons and at the end of the day, it was time to feed rats to the snakes… yeah!!!

Stanley, a blackheaded python

Feeding time for the reptiles...

See all the photos and read more comments at:


Anonymous said...

What a great shot of you and the Koala...my girls were jealous...OK, so was I. Who doesn't want to hold a Koala bear? Of course, I do have a different cuddly bear. :)

Wayne said...

A Koala!!! That is cool

Anonymous said...

How cool! The snakes are, uh, interesting but the Koala is really cute!

Love <3,

Greg said...

Looks like you are making the most of the Great Adventure 2.0 : The Land Down Under. Apparently koala's are docile creatures...and Stanley is lovable in his own way.

I've worked 9 of the last 10 days and tomorrow I go ice fishing for 4 days...Stay out of the sun...I'll try to find some...take care!

Lisa said...

Hi Jeff--

You are looking great, relaxed, and like you are really enjoying yourself. Of course, not as handsome as that Koala...he is "hecka" cute as William says. Will loves the picture of the snake about to it the rat. He did ask me if the rat was dead already and I said of course. Anyway, I saw the snake pictures last night with Sadie before we went to bed and of course I then had the "snake dream" where there is a snake that has cornered me and I can't get away. Oy!

We are all enjoying your pictures and your tales of your adventures and all of the people that you are meeting--it sounds wonderful.

We sure do miss you here.

Hi back to Bo. We miss you too. Y
you can visit anytime you know! Hope all is well on your side of the country.

Looking forward to more pics, Jeff!

Love to all, Lise

JPT said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Wow, so someone really is looking at this blog! I guess I have to keep it up, huh? I have to remember to take the time to write down my thoughts as I travel... it's just soooo easy to be distracted. Before you know it the day's gone by. I'm also finding it difficult to get on-line. There are no free internet cafes here... (in fact, there are few cafes in the smaller towns along the coast. :-)) When I do find a connection, it's usually $2.00 per 15 minutes... so I have to be efficient on-line. We're so fortunate in the US with unlimited access for so little money. Many providers in Australia also charge by how much you view or download... by the kilobyte... so the more sites you visit, the more they charge you. Strange, huh?!?

Best to all,

Brenda said...

Yes, Jeff, people are REALLY looking at your blog, and enjoying the experience of Australia from your eyes! You've captured some great moments - what an adventure thus far! PLEASE continue with your amazing photos and comments! Though I must admit I'm a little envious, I'm so happy for you! You are fortunate to have Jesse and Florence here holding down the fort while you play - they are wonderful. Enjoy every moment! Thinking of you, friend, be safe out there! - Brenda Sprague