I think my husband’s job is awesome, which is part of why I delight in spending 14 hours+ to make him custom t-shirts (or really anything else he requires for work gear.) He goes out a few days a week to track and collar koalas in the surrounding Brisbane urban countryside and often sends me shots like this from the field while I’m bent over my drafting:
I love it when he’s out working and my phone goes off sounding like a telegraph line to turn up a photo like this. I haven’t had the chance to go out with him in the field until the other day when he was assigned Prospero’s release. Prospero is a mature male.
Prospero spent some time in a large state of the art animal hospital near Beerwah for a general health checkup and to clear his acute cystitis. They don’t mess around with cystitis because it can cause infertility, and since koalas are in decline to begin with the ecologists pay close attention to the sexual health of the koalas they track. They need Prospero healthy and vigorous, out in the bush to sow his wild oats to seed the next several generations of koalas in southeast Queensland.
We picked Lila up early from preschool that day so she could meet a live koala. She sat in the back seat next to the cage; I told her he needed quiet so he wouldn’t be scared, and not to poke her fingers in the cage or be noisy. She sat next to him with a radiant smile on her face and sang silly small child songs for the 45 minute ride to his home.
As Stephen sat Propero’s cage at the base of the tree, I sat down to get a shot with him but Prospero was beside himself. He definitely knew that after his sojourn in the hospital we had brought him home and was not interested in being photogenic. I do hope if he ever decides to write his story like Black Beauty or Stuart Little, we’ll be the nice humans.
Stephen carefully checked both his field notes and the GPS to make sure we dropped Prospero off right on his home doorstep. It’s really no good to take the time to re-rehabilitate an animal only to put him back in unfamiliar terrain, so they are very very careful to document where they find a sick koala. They take great care of these animals, while preserving their wild natures.
We drove for some time until the road gave out, then Stephen picked up the cage and carried Prospero to his home. It wasn’t far, but it was rather rough going in some places. The light was beautiful.
(I am SORRY I took this from the wrong angle, I don’t know how to change it but if you do please tell me so I can fix this.)
The aim of the project is to try to reduce koala causalities on the roads. Sadly, most koala casualties are caused by dog attacks or road incidents. The ecologists work to understand how koalas interact with their increasingly urbanized environment. That’s why they track them- to check if they use existing wildlife corridors, and how to make such corridors more attractive to koalas in general. They also track koalas to determine if other corridors should be made and where, in order to reduce the impact of human activities on this Australian icon.
We do what we can and leave the rest to God.