Koala mother scratches her back while joey hangs on

Koala joeys ride on their mother’s back from about the age of 7 to 9 months.

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Mara: Ooh, I feel an itch…

But what happens if mum wants to groom (scratch) her back?  Wooooo!  Watch out joey Pickle!!

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Pickle: Oops! Incoming!!

OOh, that was close! Those big claws could do damage!

Mother koalas, like Mara here, are very aware of their tiny joey backpacks, and wouldn’t hurt them – after all, they’ve worked very hard to make them!  By the time a koala joey is on its mother’s back, its been in the pouch for 6 months, and then another month or two on her belly.   She has to eat more gum leaves and get lots of moisture to create milk to feed the youngster, and this is a big effort for an animal living on a low-energy diet.

Watch as another mother koala – Ngardang – looks out for her joey whilst climbing through an obstacle course of branches. 

But joeys like Pickle also have to look out for themselves.  By one year they have to be independent, so the quicker they learn, the better.

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Pickle: Are you right now mum?

Mara and her 2018 joey Pickle live in the You Yangs, west of Melbourne and north of Geelong.  They are monitored by Echidna Walkabout’s Wild Koala Research Project – a project supported by travellers.

Read all about the lives of wild koalas Mara and Pickle here.

Great pics by Echidna Walkabout Wildlife Guide Michael Williams.

 

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Michael Williams is also a professional wildlife photographer. See more of his work here: http://www.itsawildlife.com.au/

 

 

 

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