Koala Kountry (And Other Funky Critters)

The wildlife in Australia is very unique to on our planet. Where else can you find the bizarre platypus; a semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal, with webbed feet and a duck bill snout? The platypus is a totally weird creature, like Mother Nature's idea of a practical joke. The same country is host to a pantheon of other funky critters. Such are: melemes, dingoes, wallabies, kangaroos, emus, camels, and wombats. When Rockie and I decided to hitchhike from Cairns to Sydney, we hoped to encounter a multitude of these creatures from the car. And we did. Unfortunately, most were road kills.

Rockie spots a koala in the wild on Magnetic Island.

Perhaps the most famous animal (besides the kangaroo) is the cute and furry little marsupial called the koala bear. As an ubiquitous symbol of the land down under, the koala can be seen on T-shirts, soft drink cans, and business signs everywhere. Spotting one in the wild is much more difficult. The koala population was nearly hunted into extinction 70 years ago, but have since started coming back. Koalas are also very shy animals and sleep up to 18 hours a day. Finding a live koala is difficult, but not impossible. Rockie and I were persistent to find one, and nearly walked right into a large male chowing down on his fill of eucalyptus leaves. Taking a closer look we spotted several others nearby, all blending in perfectly with their environment.

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