Jay Cronan

A cuddly surprise

A Gympie family had a surprise visitor in the early hours of the morning recently. Mother of two Jo Buchanan thought it was the cat scratching to come in when she heard a strange noise outside the sliding glass back door of her Jones Hill home about 6.30am.

When she got to the back door, however, there was no family pet wanting to get inside. Instead, a koala peered in through the glass, perched on the cement patio.

Jo said it appeared to be an adolescent male koala and it seemed to be in very good condition. It did not appear to be distressed or injured, but it continued to scratch on the glass door.

“I couldn't believe it. There was a koala in my back yard scratching to get inside my house,” Jo said.

She ran in to wake her husband.

They both decided to ring a wildlife carer, who told them they should try to catch the koala and put it in the laundry until someone could get there to collect it. Leaving it out in the yard left it vulnerable to a dog attack, they were told.

The couple was advised to “be careful, sometimes they bite and scratch”.

Jo's husband opened the door and wrapped a bath towel around the koala, which made a few “crying” noises at first, before falling asleep within about five minutes.

“We decided to nurse it rather than put it in the laundry because we were worried it might start shredding the blinds,” said Jo.

Their three-year-old son Aidan couldn't believe it when his parents woke him up to meet the unusual visitor. All he wanted to do was give it a pat. It was so surreal. People pay lots of money to see a koala and we had three whole hours with one.”

The koala was eventually collected by wildlife carers and will be given a new home at either Australia Zoo or Bob Irwin's reserve.

Gympie Times

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