by Jessica Toreto, Brazil
Koalas & Kangaroos in the Wild tour is an incredible opportunity to have fun, spend the day out in the bush, look for wildlife and, at the same time, protect nature.
In the morning we looked for koalas. We were fortunate to see four of them, resting gracefully at the top of the tree.
During our time hunting for koalas, our guide was sharing with us some fun facts about them.
Did you know a female koala can have maximum 7 babies? They don`t give birth to many joeys and when they do, it is one per year.
For this reason, we need to protect the ones we have, and there is a way to to that while enjoying the tour.
This is how you can have fun, protect wildlife at the same time. First, just by being there, you are making a huge difference in their habitat. How is this possible? Part of the income from the tours goes to tree planting with Koala Clancy Foundation, which helps not only the koalas but all wildlife.
Not enough? Do you want to get your hands dirty and really feel that you are doing something to help them? Cool, you can do that too!
Martin, our fantastic guide, explained to us that there are some invasive weeds (boneseed) growing around the trees that threaten koala habitat, and showed us how to remove it. And that`s how you can put your hands to work. He asked us to remove 10 to 20 each, but we couldn’t contain ourselves and we pulled much more. Read about the Make a Home for Koala Clancy weed removal project here.
From that moment to the end of the tour, every time someone spotted a boneseed, they enthusiastically stopped and pulled it out. We were happy to know that we were contributing for a better habitat to our cute koalas.
After that, we had a great lunch where I noticed that no plastic is used at all. The rubbish is taken with us to be thrown on the compost bin later.
In the beautiful sunny afternoon, we went after some kangaroos. We saw plenty of roos hopping around with their babies or simply resting in the shade. It was interesting to see how they react to human presence. They notice we are there, stare at us and watch for the next movement. If they feel threatened they hop away. For this reason we, tourists, should keep together as a group to not disturb them.
Yet the tour is not only about koalas and kangaroos. We also saw emus with their babies, birds such as Tawny Frogmouths and Magpies, grasshoppers and bull ants. Martin was happy to show us some flora too. He grabbed some eucalyptus, and tea tree leaves for us to smell. He also prepared a Billy tea with some of the leaves, which made our experience in the bush even more wild.
After this fun day watching animals in the wild and protecting wildlife habitat, we knew much more about the animals and felt grateful for playing a role helping the koalas and wildlife of the You Yangs.