You have no place to call your own. Everyone hates you.
When I was a baby everything was beautiful. My mother, Pat, loved me unconditionally. For the first six months of my life I was warm and safe in her pouch. I could feel her heartbeat always.
The next phase was lovely too – I came out of the pouch and spent all my time on mum’s tummy. If it was cold, she would wrap her soft arms around me. When I was feeling adventurous I would climb on her back and we’d go travelling.
In time I became curious and started to climb up the tree on my own. Then, at about one year old, I even climbed into a different tree.
Mum smiled and encouraged me to be brave. If only I knew how brave I would have to be.
I was lucky. Mum (and Dad to some degree) let me stay until I was two years old. Most other kids have to leave when they’re only one year old.
Independence is terrifying. Suddenly you are on your own, in unfamiliar territory, and no-one wants you. Every bit of decent habitat is owned by a male scarier than your Dad.
If the owner finds you, he will hurt you.
You learn to be alert, quiet and very sneaky. But we have to change trees every day – read why. Watch:
Young male koalas live on the fringes for their first few years, trying to eat well so they can become big and strong. But the good trees are owned by dominant males, so its hard to grow.
I made it through that difficult time, and I’m now one of the dominant males that the young fellas are scared of. I’m one of the lucky ones.
If you humans could plant more trees in good habitat – by that I mean in river valleys, lowlands, and on private farmland – it would make it easier for the young guys! Read more about that here.
Koala Clancy Foundation runs tree planting days from June to August every year. If you can put together a group of 10 people you can do it whatever day you wish – or you can come on a public Koala Conservation Day for Locals once a month. Please come!
Koala Conservation Days for businesses & groups
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