World News – AU – Koala pleases beachgoers, but Wildlife Carer says it was in « a bad place »


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There have been no new coronavirus cases in Victoria in the past 24 hours, giving authorities hope that they may have included an NSW-related outbreak

Surfing and game viewing are two popular pastimes along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, but are rarely enjoyed both at the same time.

That changed for an excited crowd on the main Apollo Bay beach west of Melbourne after a koala walked the sand and at one point sat in the water.

Amateur photographer Kim Bedford was there with her family when the marsupial emerged from trees in nearby sand dunes.

« Amazing scenes in Apollo Bay – a koala just coming down to examine the waves. « 

Koalas and surfing – independently – are big business for the coastal southwest Victorian hotspot.

The region is protected in Cape Otway on the lowest slopes of the Otway Ranges.

The beaches of Apollo Bay, dubbed « Paradise by the Sea » by locals, attract thousands of vacationers each year, while further north are a range of rainforests, where the area’s marsupials are more common.

Ms. Bedford’s koala was caught the day before New Years Eve, resulting in an outpouring of worship on social media.

One viewer commented, « Can’t be much more Australian » while another called it « the best picture of 2020 ». .

But zookeeper Tracey Wilson, who has looked after hundreds of koalas at her shelter in southwest Victoria, said the animal may be quite « stressed »

Ms. Wilson said she had never heard of a koala actively going to the beach, but that it was becoming more common to find them in places that would not be expected.

« It’s mainly due to a lack of natural habitat, development, and town planning that could be done better, » said Ms. Wilson.

Ms. Wilson’s shelter helped rehabilitate dozens of koalas found emaciated on a Victorian wood plantation in the southwest in February.

She said koalas were common in the Otway Ranges, but it was hard to know why one would wander to the beach.

« I think it just ended up in a bad place, and the fact that a lot of people followed it and saw it stressed it really badly and it panicked. « 

It is believed that the koala returned to the nearby forest later in the day.

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Apollo Bay, Koala, Australia, Victoria

World News – AU – Koala delights beachgoers but zookeepers say it was in a « bad place »
Related title :
Koala Delights Apollo Bay Beachgoers, But Wildlife Carer Says It Was Panicked
Koala Is Seen Surfing Apollo Bay Beach in Victoria


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