Posted on 31st January 2018 by Media Relations
How would you like to wake up with a koala outside your window? At the new Wildlife Retreat at Taronga, you can do just that!
When you book into an animal or harbour view room there’s a good chance one of the Retreat’s five koalas will be snoozing in a gum tree right outside your window.
You might find yourself near Bo (short for Rainbow), who’s two and a half years old, or his pod mate Pirra, who’s a bit older at age three. Pirra means ‘Little Moon’ in the Luritja language, a dialect spoken by an Aboriginal group indigenous to parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Then there’s Thunder, father of Bo, who recently celebrated his fifth birthday. Born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, Thunder has been an important part of Taronga’s koala breeding program and has fathered three koalas in all.
He certainly lives up to his name when you hear him bellow. Guests are more than a little surprised when they hear this loud, strange noise emanating from outside their room.
So, what’s the noise all about?
Male koalas call frequently during breeding season and it's believed this serves a double purpose: to announce their presence to other males, and to advertise themselves to any nearby females.
Thunder is known to bellow fairly frequently and is particularly vocal when he’s eating breakfast in the mornings.
Not far away from Thunder in a nearby pod are Lime and Kakadu, both young males around two and a half years old, who were also born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.
While the koalas sleep about 20 hours a day they’re most active at breakfast time when they munch on fresh gum leaves – perfect timing for guests to wake up to a koala outside their window.
The trees they live in at the Retreat’s central wildlife habitat have been fitted with purpose built cooling devices, designed by a Taronga Zoo keeper, which look like coils wrapped around the trunk. These help keep the koalas cool on hot days.
Four red kangaroos have also recently joined the koalas at the Retreat. Red roos are the largest species of kangaroo and our biggest one, Malu, weighs in at a hefty 80 kilograms!
The Retreat is also home to Tammar wallabies, Bettongs, Potoroos and Echidnas, so why not treat yourself to a special staycation and book in an overnight stay? All revenue from the Retreat supports Taronga’s many wildlife conservation projects so your stay makes a meaningful difference to the future of our wildlife.