This is Tucker, the first koala to be born at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve for a long time.
He is looking hale and hearty, and living up to his name, (Tucker is an Aussie slang word for food.)
Tucker, oblivious of his local fame, is munching his way through branches of Eucalyptus leaves with gusto!
Tidbinbilla, set in a beautiful valley about 30 minutes drive from Canberra’s CBD, is part of the Namadgi National Park. It has been a Nature Reserve for 80 years.
This year we are having record breaking spring rainfall and the countryside has never looked so green.
Brett McNamara, the Regional Manager with ACT Parks & Conservation said this is the first year he has ever seen the remarkable occurrence of snow on the Brindabella Mountains……
and a flooded river below.
In 2003 Canberra and the surrounding region, including the Namadgi National Park, suffered devastating bushfires.
Those of us living on the southern side of Canberra remember the surrounding mountain fires raging for days afterwards. Wildlife and vegetation was decimated. One koala survived in the Tidbinbilla Reserve and his name became Lucky.
Although the photo below was not taken during the Canberra bushfire, it is, sadly, as poignant as many images we saw during that time around Canberra.
While fighting a fire in the neighbouring state of Victoria, this firefighter noticed an extremely distressed koala, and spontaneously offered him a drink from his water bottle.
I kept this photo in my classroom for a few years after the fires…a great discussion starter on many topics, especially how interconnected we are with all that happens in our world.
Now, many years later, such are the vagaries of weather, in spring 2016 here we are driving over the bridge near Tidbinbilla and heeding warning signs for flooding! This is the Murrumbidgee river, and the name is derived from the Aboriginal word for ”big water”.
This year we have had more rain than usual….and the dams are at 100% capacity.
We’ve come to Tidbinbilla today to enjoy the beginning of spring….and to look for the second star attraction at Tidbinbilla…another baby koala!
New foliage and new life everywhere!
Paul took two great shots of a kangaroo and her joey. Isn’t that an efficient way of managing a baby while teaching him how to eat!
We were standing a good distance away, … but this is a lovely moment of a curious baby being pushed back into the pouch for safety. This sensible young kangaroo is ready to hop away …. Look at those powerful legs, tail and feet!
Early morning in the bush, and this kookaburra is enjoying a slow start in a shaft of warm spring sunshine.
Here is a brush-tailed Rock Wallaby. I have read that they survived the fires by hiding in rock crevices.
This is the plaque for the only koala to survive the fires. . Since Lucky died in 2008 there have been no koalas at Tidbinbilla, until in 2013 when the state of Victoria donated some koalas of breeding age to the Reserve…..
….along came Tucker in early spring, and now here is the second baby koala.
The Reserve held a competition in the local paper (The Chronicle) for the naming of this little fellow. Two families won the competition because they entered the same name…suggested by the children in both families…
The winning suggestion was Ghanbi which is an local Aboriginal name for fire.
Best wishes to Ghanbi and Tucker, and the future koala population of Tidbinbilla.
In the words of Walter Burley Griffin designer of Canberra,
” The shadows of the clouds and mists as they cross the mountains are very beautiful indeed. As I have said before, it is a grand site for a city.”
I hope you are enjoying your green spaces in whatever part of the world you are living.
Copyright Geraldine Mackey : All rights reserved.