Tuesday, February 17, 2009
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...
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Posted by Jeff at 8:05 PM