Where’s Wally?

We love to be able to share a good news story. A koala was reported late last week in Glenbrook in the Lower Blue Mountains. It’s not every day that a koala turns up there, and it’s probably even rarer that a koala named Wally turns up at all. How do we know his name you may ask?

Wally was wearing some bling, an ear tag. So, when he was found, a photo and details of his ear tag were sent through to us to check if we knew him. We’ve never tagged any koalas in the Lower Blue Mountains, so it seemed unlikely that he would be part of any of our programs. However, upon checking, Kellie, Science for Wildlife’s ED, was delighted to discover that Wally was actually part of the Blue Mountains Koala Project back in 2018 when he lived in Kurrajong. That’s roughly 40km away from where he was found last week.

Featured above: Wally by the side of the road (Image: Eli Ryan)

He had initially been taken into care with chlamydia, and successfully treated by WIRES carer Morgan Philpot. He was released back to the wild, and Morgan then volunteered with us to radio-track Wally in the urban development zone, until he disappeared out of signal range. We are not sure where he went, he may have made his big move back then when he was a young male of dispersing age. Or he may have found a patch to call home in the same region and only this year moved off on his big adventure as a result of the bushfires.

Wally was rescued at the bottom of Mitchell’s Pass in Glenbrook, at risk while wandering on the road.

Featured above: Wally being rescued (Image: Bron Scott)

The excellent news is that Wally seems to be in good condition. He is in care, having a check -up to make sure he isn’t suffering any ill-effects from summer’s mega-fires or his recent adventures, and waiting on test results to check that he doesn’t have chlamydia. If he is given the all-clear, he will be released in a safe area near where he was found, and away from any major roads. He will be included in our new project looking at the success of koalas that come out from care, and we will track him regularly to keep tabs on where Wally is.

Thanks to John from WIRES for the great pic, and to everyone who reported this sighting to us!