|Koalas||Program||Image Library||Smiths Creek Reserve|
Brian - 28th June 2001
An early morning phone call alerted us to the imminent release of Brian, a 4 year old male koala which had been found inside the Busways depot at Airds the night before. (We made absolutely sure that there was film in the camera. We'd been with Lynn, the koala tracker at a site in Ruse less than a fortnight ago when we'd located Shirley and her new baby, excitedly took lots of photos only to discover that the effort was in vain !) Dr Robert Close arrived with Brian in a sturdy bag. Overnight, the koala had been examined by a vet, weighed (he's 8.3kg) and tagged.
Frank - 16th & 18th October, then 2nd November 2000
In Mac's Koala Club of the 25th October, 2000 Dr Robert Close and Steven Ward reported, "Other calls this week have been to report Shirley's independent cub, Frank, who left his mum last Februaury and who has now turned up in Smiths Creek Reserve. He appears to be in glowing good health, but of course, is at risk from dogs and cars."
The headline said it all. "Dogs signalled alert for koala in reserve." In the Mac's Koala Club column of June 10th, 1998 Steven Ward and Dr Robert Close announced, " We are excited to report that at last a koala has been sighted in the Smiths Creek Reserve.
The koala was seen by Ruse resident Marcia Pain in her backyard one evening after she was alerted by her dogs' strange behaviour. Once the dogs were inside, the koala descended the tree it had climbed and headed towards the back fence, which backs on to the Smiths Creek Reserve.
However the koala found the fence to be a tough one to cross and after a few attempts had still not managed to climb over. Concerned that the koala might be stuck, Marcia and her son went to help. Using a towel, they grabbed the koala and after a brief struggle managed to place it over the fence in the Smiths creek Reserve where it quickly moved off and climbed a nearby tree.
We advise not to handle wild koalas as they will fight if necessary, and are well armed with sharp teeth and claws.
From Marcia's description, the koala may be Dan, a young koala caught in Ruse close to Peter Meadows Creek in February. Marcia observed that the koala had ear tags but unfortunately couldn't tell us what colour the tags were as it was too dark.
There is suitable koala habitat in Smiths Creek Reserve although a koala's journey there would be difficult.
There are only a few spots where the Smiths Creek Reserve comes close to linking up with Peter Meadows Creek bush.
This means that the koala would probably have travelled through many Ruse residents' backyards as well as crossing busy Junction Road.
If you are a resident of Ruse, please be on the lookout for Dan. He may pass through your property or you might even see him on the roads.
If you have dogs, they may spot Dan before you so investigate if your dogs are barking.
You might also consider looking through the trees in your backyard. Check the trees for fresh scratches and faecal pellets and perhpas use a bright light to see if Dan is around.
Eye shine, which is light reflecting off the back of the eyes, will help you detect if koalas and other animals are present.
If you should spot any koala, lookout for the ear tags and record which colour tag is in which ear, left or right, and call us as soon as possible on 9962 9996."
In Mac's Koala Club in the Macarthur Advertiser of the 15th July, 1998 Robert and Steven provide more information on "Devilish Dan's escapades."
"Recently we received a call from East Campbelltown resident Ian Gooda. Ian lives on the western side of Smiths Creek Reserve, not far from the Campbelltown East primary school. Another local, Bevan North, had spotted a young koala on the suburban street and watched as the koala walked down the street and climbed a liquidambar in Ian's front garden.
Ian reported that the koala had coloured ear tags and we identified the koala as being Dan, a young male caught in Februaury this year in Ruse. He was next spotted in June June in a backyard on the eastern side of Smiths Creek.
Ian was understandably concerned about Dan's welfare. We were reluctant to move Dan because koalas are part of the Campbelltown environment. They have to learn the tricks to survive dogs, cars and people and have to become familiar with the layout of the bush and suburb.
We advised Ian that he shouldn't try to capture Dan as koalas are very strong for their size and have very sharp teeth and claws.
In a suburban environment the biggest threats to koalas are dogs and cars. You may think that your dog would "never harm a fly" but dogs do attack and kill koalas. Roaming dogs (ie those that get out or are not confined to a yard) are particularly dangerous to dispersing koalas. You can help by making sure your dog doesn't wander off and by immediately investigating any barking.
Ian reported that a small group of residents were admiring Dan in his tree. We suggested that if the watchers stood about 15metres away from Dan's tree he might descend. A little while later Ian called again and reported that dan had come down and that another resident had managed to "herd" Dan down the street and back towards the bush by staying a few metres behind him.
There was a frightening moment when a car came flying around a nearby corner, but luckily Dan was not in the way. Dan then crossed the road back towards the bush, and scampered up a nearby tree.
Being a young, adventurous male, Dan is likely to keep wandering and could well turn up again on someone's property. If so, please call us so that we can follow Dan's movements.
The Mac's Koala Club of the 23rd September, 1998 gave more details of Dan's adventures. It said in part, " We believe Dan originally came from Peter Meadows Creek and travelled west through bush and backyards to Smiths Creek Reserve, where he has been around for two months. A recent sighting close to the Shell Service Station on Junction Road has inicated that Dan has headed back east towards Peter Meadows Creek or the Georges River.
We recognised Dan from his coloured ear tags and would like all Ruse residents to watch out for him.
It also appears that the koala breeding season is underway. Normally the season starts in September and runs through February. With all the recent rain, the bush is looking great and we expect that this will be a great year for the koalas.
The male koalas are in good condition and should be bellowing to foes and female friends. These can sound quite frightening. Listen to our recorded bellows on 46203200 to appreciate the unusual sounds."
Dan was certainly on the move ! He was next recorded in the Macarthur Advertiser column on the 28th October, 1998 after Steven had captured him on Appin Road, about 400 metres south of St Helen's Park. His weight was now 7.5kg.
Type info here.