Caught the bus on time again. The weather was beautiful. It was going to be an amazing day. Two of the other volunteers caught the same bus as me – Ronna and Iris. We got to the staff room at 8.00 AM and settled down with some hot chocolate. At 8.45, it was time to hear our assignments for the day. Iris and I were assigned to koalas! We were so happy . The first task we were given was to clean the ledges – I took the koala ledges while Iris took the sanctuary ledges. So, she had to scrape turkey poo off the ledges around the whole sanctuary while I just sprayed lemon water on the ledges around the koala enclosures. The lemon water was to mask the natural smell of the male koalas that some people found offensive. Either I’m not smelling the right thing or I’m a koala at heart because I find their musky scent quite nice.
Next, we had to scrub all the trees and branches in two enclosures with a solution of SaniClean for disinfection. We then rinsed everything off with some plain water. The koalas remained in the enclosures as we cleaned so we just had to coax them to move if they were in a spot we needed to get to. They were so adorable! Some walked backwards while others just stared blankly, not wanting to move.
When we were almost done with the second enclosure, one of the other koala keepers, Alison, asked me to help her clean bins. These ‘wheelie bins’ were used to bring fresh eucalyptus branches to each of the koala enclosures and so there were about 30 of them. We had to empty the water and leaves in them first. I then hosed them down following which Alison scrubbed them up with detergent and then I hosed them down again. I was soaking wet at the end of it all.
I took my 20 minute break at the Sleepy Koala Cafe and then headed back. Alison was just about done with the bins. So, I headed back to the main Koala enclosures and waited around for some work. Since most of the keepers were busy with the photography session, we were told we didn’t have much to do. So, Iris and I decided to walk around the sanctuary and take some pictures. But, before we decided which way to head, Simone, a keeper, had a new task for us. She wanted us to rake up the dry leaves from one of the areas and then use them to pretty-up some koala enclosures. After that, we were asked to stand watch over an enclosure with male koalas as many tourists were leaning over the ledges and trying to touch them and some others were irritating them with flash photography. We managed to educate some of the passing crowd and then we headed ff for lunch. We took an hour off and caught up with the other ‘volies’ (voluteers – Aussies LOVE to shorten words).
Post lunch, we hung around he koala enclosures and did some more raking and gathering of leaves. It was a good team activity trying to balance a large pile of leaves on two rakes and transfer it into the bin. Good times. After beautifying another enclosure, it was time to head home. We caught the bus to the Cultural Centre station and then I got the Gold Coast line train from the South Brisbane station. The gorgeous weather added much to the awesomeness of the day.