petting koalas?

Dec 23rd, 2004, 10:16 AM
  #21  
 
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Pat, I'm glad to hear Chook is doing great. Beautiful, smart, fellow there.

I got to "hold hands" with a koala at Kuranda after I took a pretty spectacular spill on some wet pavement. They've got BIG claws, and I'm glad they're pretty sleepy most of time. (The handler actually kept hold of the dear thing.)
Kimbis is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 09:11 AM
  #22  
 
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There is also a very small zoo 10 minutes out from Port Douglas (ask one of the local inn keepers) that allows you to take a picture holding a Koala - it was pricey though - $20 each. My husband also go to hold a wombat (I was too scared).
Jaykay06 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #23  
 
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Where was that jaykay? Only wildlife park I can think of that close to Port Douglas is Rainforest Habitat - just near the Port Douglas turnoff from main highway. They will allow a photo with a koala whilst it's in its tree, not on you. I'm not sure of the charge but all proceeds go to their animal rescue fund. But they don't keep wombats, their natural habitat in area is inland around the Tablelands. Don't blame you for not holding a wombat - they can give a good nip.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 9th, 2005, 11:29 PM
  #24  
 
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Lone Pine Sanctuary located 15min outside of Brisbane in the western suburbs. Also Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast and Dreamworld, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
cerisenoir is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 11:57 AM
  #25  
 
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Oh I'm so sorry! The place was not Port Douglas - it was near Palm Grove (in fact, it was a 10 minute walk from our hotel). I think it was a really small zoo (Cairns Tropical Zoo)? Does that sound right? I did this in July, so my mind is a little foggy with the details...
Jaykay06 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 12:33 PM
  #26  
 
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That's the one jaykay, it must have been Cairns Tropical Zoo - on the highway near Palm Cove, about 25 min north of Cairns city.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 01:29 PM
  #27  
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does anyone know where to pet a koala dear Sydney
eclair is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 02:15 PM
  #28  
 
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We recently visited Taronga Zoo in Sydney. You can take photos in a small enclosure with the koalas (I think it was $3 per person), but are absolutely not allowed to touch them. You can get really close, but no contact. Their keepers told us that the reason not to expect much activity from them; they sleep about 20 hours/day because they get almost no nutrition from their eucalyptus diets. But we did get some great photos of them and of us with them as well.
sharon815 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2005, 10:15 AM
  #29  
 
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Hi:
Technically, it's illegale to hold a koala in NSW but you can touch/ pet one at Featherdale- just outside of Sydney, near Blacktown- You can, or at least could last time we visited, hold a koala in Queensland- I think the Australia Zoo (think Steve and Terri Irwin, mate) outside Brisbane allows this- also, between Cairns and Port Douglas we found Wild World where you can hold a koala- be aware that most of these places have specific times for petting/ holding a koala, and probably other animals as well- good luck! When I held Flippy at Wild World, it was almost a religious experience- but we always make a trip to Featherdale to see our "foster" koalas there, through the Australia Koala Foun dation.
gregdane is offline  
Feb 1st, 2005, 11:25 AM
  #30  
 
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gregdane - Wild World, near Palm Cove, north of Cairns is now known as Cairns Tropical Zoo and is one of the two wildlife parks in north Qld where you can still hold a koala. The other, as mentioned before, is Koala Gardens at Kuranda.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 01:52 PM
  #31  
 
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I'll agree with those of you whose in-person koala encounters have been a bit disappointing. I held one years ago at the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary near Brisbane, and the experience--being handed a deadweight, matted, stinky and rather stoned-seeming creature--was not the magical moment I'd expected. Also--this is a bit funny--koalas can make really awful sounds at times, like belching old men (although it was actually an American friend who enlightened me about this!) If you'd like to hear them yourself (and have a sort of virtual koala encounter), check out this site: http://www.savekoala.aus.to/moreInfo.htm#koalasounds

Cheers!
wozzanaussie is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 07:03 PM
  #32  
 
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Hi,

I thought I'd jump into the koala foray, and have learned some things reading everyone's postings! The only place I knew of for sure that you could actually HOLD a koala was Lone Pine Sanctuary outside of Brisbane; if you go to their website, you can see...GASP, actual CELEBRITIES such as Jackie Chan and Kristie Yamaguchi holding the little critters.

The reason why you can't hold koalas (in most places) is this: their ribcages are very delicate, so unless you know the proper way to do it, you could actually crush the ribcage. If you've ever watched a "handler" pick one up you'll see they hook their hands under the armpits (and no, for you people who are going to comment... and you know who you are...I don't know WHAT koala armpits smell like!) and then they plop them on the tourist and tell them to support their bum with one hand while putting their arm around the body for support.

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Feb 10th, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #33  
 
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>koala bear

Hello. Don't ever call them that. They're not bears. They are called Koalas.

Thank You.
AustraliaZooIsGreat is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 04:13 AM
  #34  
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Thank You
eclair is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #35  
 
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My thanks to wozzanaussie, who's single-handedly demonstrated that the Fodors editors can add real value to discussions. Nobody else has been brave enough to point out just how unpleasant these beasts can be. I'd just as soon cuddle a cane toad.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 06:21 PM
  #36  
 
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Neil,

at least you can RACE the cane toads...people have been known to nod off during the koala races.

Melodie
wlzmatilida is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 07:09 PM
  #37  
 
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Including the koalas.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 24th, 2005, 04:37 PM
  #38  
 
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Sorry to resurrect this but I thought a visiting Californian veterinary's comment may be of interest. Although she was more interested in the formation of the koala's toes than the cute and cuddly factor she was surprised that there was no wild animal odour or smell of eucalyptus. I noticed in a Cairns zoo the other very hot day, the koalas were sitting with their bums in the containers of water which were keeping their eucalyptus feed fresh. Would have helped in keeping their rear ends fresh too.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM
  #39  
 
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I havent been there for years but Cleland National Park near Adelaide used to let you cuddle them for a picture.
I actually have no idea why you want to do this though as they do scratch, bite and pee on you. Plus it does stress them out.
The best way to do it is to visit Kangaroo Island and join in with a shooting party that way you get to hold them and get your picture taken without actually stressing them out. Plus this helps the leaves grow back on the native vegetation, so your also doing your bit fo rthe environment as well.
baho is offline  
Feb 28th, 2005, 04:59 PM
  #40  
 
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AustraliaZooisGreat is correct. Koalas are not bears, but marsupials. I work at the San Diego Zoo and we've had koalas since the 1920's. They were among the first animals brought to the Zoo by the founder of the Zoo - Dr. Harry Wegeforth. We've done quite a few koala loans to other zoos -they have been popular with zoo visitors.

I visited Lone Pine on my visit to Oz during the Bicentennial as well as Taronga. The setting on Sydney Harbor is spectacular. And I was fortunate to see them in the wild as well.

As noted, they sleep around 20 hours a day. Not only is their diet of eucalyptus leaves very low in nutriton/energy but another factor is they are very picky eaters. Having had to haul more than my fair share of leaves away from their exhibit I can only wish they were a little more hungry.

We have had 2 albino koalas - very beautiful but, sadly, neither one lasted very long. We kept them indoors to protect them from the sun.
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