Chloe the Koala

Chloe the Koala

Mum to eight-month-old Joey

Chloe has lived her whole life near Gunnedah in western NSW, which is also known as ‘the Koala Capital of the World’. She is a proud mum to Joey who is eight months old.

The moment Joey was born, he climbed up into my pouch and stayed there for 6 months while he developed his senses of sight, sound and smell.

He rides on my back now and he’s getting pretty heavy, so I’ll be pleased when he also develops some independence!

Becoming a parent has made me a lot more conscious of our local environment and what our future generations will inherit. I’m proud to be part of the largest colony of koalas in inland NSW and I love living here, but high fluctuations in koala numbers in the Gunnedah and Pilliga regions over the decades are evidence that it can be a tough environment.

In fact, the famous poet Dorothea Mackellar hailed from Gunnedah and was apparently inspired by what she experienced around here to write her iconic poem ‘My Country’.

Personally, I’m not particularly fond of ‘a sunburnt country’ or ‘droughts and flooding rains’. I worry that climate change is going to make things even tougher for my family and other locals.

A lot of people used to think that koalas don’t need to drink, but we need a little water when it’s really hot or when it hasn’t rained for ages. Luckily, we have some good human neighbours to help us out.

Local farmer, Robert Frend, designed the ‘Blinky Drinker’ which is a koala water station that can be attached to trees. Plenty of other locals are leaving water out in their yards and properties for us as well.

There’s also the Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group and Local Land Services who are protecting and restoring our habitat, so we have plenty of food and shade trees to hang out in and safe passages, so we can wander safely about.

I hope I never meet them, but I’ve heard of a group called WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) who help koalas who get sick or injured by a car or a dog to get better, so they can go back home.

All said, it’s a beautiful neighbourhood in which to raise Joey and I hope he lives a long and happy life.

Personally, I’m not particularly fond of ‘a sunburnt country’ or ‘droughts and flooding rains’. I worry that climate change is going to make things even tougher for my family and other local residents.

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