RARE BEAR DROPS IN TO SUBURBIA
A TOWNSVILLE man said it was like “winning the lotto” when he found a koala hanging out in his backyard.
Mick Waters thought it was a joke when his daughter told him she saw the marsupial sitting in a gum tree at their Hervey Range Rd home in the Bohle yesterday.
“I just said to my daughter, ‘ are you sure it wasn’t a possum in a jacket?’” Mr Waters joked.
“I couldn’t believe it; I have lived in Townsville for 52 years and I’ve never seen a koala in the wild. It’s like winning the lotto,” he laughed.
North Queensland Wildlife carer Clare Baldwin said it was extremely rare for a koala to be seen in the wild in Townsville.
She said it was the second koala in three weeks to be spotted in the city, with one taken into care on Magnetic Island after it was injured by a car on the Ring Rd in Douglas.
She said koalas were only ever seen every three to four years in Townsville.
“They aren’t normally in this area. They have colonies on Magnetic Island and we’ve heard of some in Oak Valley and Alligator Creek, but never in Townsville,” she said.
Ms Baldwin thought the extremely dry conditions had driven the koalas into the suburbs for food.
“We’re confused as to why we’re seeing so many in suburbia,” she said.
UNUSUAL SIGHT: Mick Waters with daughter Sonya, 12, under the tree in their backyard which has become home to a koala ( inset).