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How much can a koala bear?

May 10, 2013
I prefer the classics...maybe Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bare Mountain'

Forget Pink. I prefer the classics…maybe Mussorgsky’s Night on Bare Mountain

When it comes to listening to the music of Pink* it seems a koala can’t bear much. Driving up Junction Hill at lunch-time with the CD system in the truck playing (too) loudly I noticed a wombat-like creature hitch-hiking on the road ahead. As I got closer it proved to be a Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), (derived from the Greek words phaskolos meaning ‘pouch’ and arktos meaning ‘bear’, and the Latin word cinereus meaning ‘ash coloured’). It didn’t appear too perturbed until I wound the window down. The dulcet tones of Pink seemed to give it fright and it didn’t stop galloping until the music was switched off. Then it proceeded to climb a tree and sat there looking at me.

Koalas feed mainly on eucalypts but will eat a wide range of plants in conjunction with their gum-leaf diet. In the Flowerdale area the main food sources include Victorian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus ssp. bicostata), Manna Gum (E. viminalis ssp. viminalis) and Mountain Grey Gum (E. cypellocarpa). If you want to know what they eat where you live, check out the Australian Koala Foundation website  (www.savethe The foundation has issued a National Tree Protection List by region that outlines the trees koalas prefer in your ‘hood.

As koalas spend the major part of the day sleeping and are usually only active at night when they feed, seeing one moving about in daylight hours was a real treat even if its grasp on pop music was questionable.


*Pink is a R&B/pop musician named by Billboard magazine as the #1 pop musician of the decade. Still no idea? – you need to get out more.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ccobern permalink
    July 12, 2013 11:19 am

    That stretch of road from Junction Hill and down to the flats near Dairy Creek Road seems to be a popular area for Koalas. I’ve seen three over the last couple of years including one injured by a car which ended up being treated at The Haven.

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