The story of a Koala on a Cold Tin Roof – An eventful night at Kurrawonga

Life at Kurrawonga at this time of the year doesn’t provide any dull moments! When the days are long, hot and dry, the waterhole at the front door at Kurrawonga provides 24/7 entertainment and the diversity of day and night-time visitors is fascinating. The regular visits of Tiger Snakes and Copperheads are always announced by the bird life twitching up a storm before breaking it off in a ghostly silence. While the snakes are drinking the rest of the fauna seems to be on a watch and act alert – waiting in silence to find out in what direction the danger will be heading next.

Other visitors are not very familiar with the concept of being quiet. The possum mum with her young one on her back, for example, runs across the roof every night around midnight and if you wouldn’t know any better you would for sure think it is a small human stomping across the tin roof.

Nightly visitors: Two Brush-tailed Possums.

So two nights ago, when I woke up by the familiar stomping sound on the roof, I didn’t think anything of it and just went back to sleep … only to wake up a little later again due to scratching noises on the roof right above the bedroom. I tried to ignore it and told myself that I have to be tolerant of the wildlife (as they have been living in this area way before I moved in).

After the scratching noises just wouldn’t stop I decided it was time to have a stern conversation through the open window and ask for a little peace and quiet. It did work for a short while but in the very early morning hours the racket started again and I caved in. Totally exhausted, I crawled out of bed, grabbed my torch and went outside to see if mother possum can be convinced to move on.

However the torch put some light on a completely different story. It wasn’t mother possum trying to get under the roof. It was a big, healthy but slightly confused looking koala. There it went, my last chance of getting some more sleep for the night. Instead I tried to figure out what his problem was. Wondering if he was thirsty, stuck in the gutters or injured I got the ladder out and went on the roof myself. After some investigating I realised that he was struggling to get off the roof by himself, as it has a slight overhang – and it was obviously easier getting up than down! Although he was reasonably friendly, I wasn’t keen trying to carry him down the ladder as he really didn’t want to be lifted up. Instead I wrapped him up in a towel, as by that stage he had started shivering due to the cold morning and the dew on his pelt.

The towel immediately calmed him down and the shivering soon stopped. I then went on to secure a ladder to the roof so that he could get down on his own once he had recovered. By that time the sun started coming out and it was time for me to leave for the day’s work. The good news is that when I returned from work the koala had disappeared into the surrounding bush and that night I had a wonderfully quiet night’s sleep.

Warming up after a cold night on a tin roof.

If you are interested in meeting the local wildlife: we are now offering guided spotlighting tours at Kurrawonga. Give us a call (0414 778 309) or send an email for any enquiries or bookings. See below!

Nicole Mojonnier