News

Koala gets timely help

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Strathmerton farm owners Kellie Bilston and BJ Payne welcomed a wild friend down from the peppercorn trees on Tuesday after their dogs brought attention to a koala in need of water.

Acting quickly, Ms Bilston grabbed a bowl of water and held it up to the koala, relieving him of his thirst.

‘‘To my surprise, he certainly was thirsty and he was quite content when I gave it to him, even putting his paws into the bowl and at times held the bowl,’’ she said.

Aware that the koala may not appreciate her coming so close, Ms Bilston said at no stage did the animal attempt to harm her.

She said her King Charles Cavaliers Bobo and Bear were very interested in their new friend.

‘‘My husband picked them up one at a time to say hello — neither the boys or the koala were upset with the meeting and neither were stressed or nasty,’’ Ms Bilston said.

‘‘Just very curious of one another I’d say and it was so lovely to watch.’’

The next morning Ms Bilston found the koala was still hanging about on the farm.

‘‘He was nice and refreshed after his water and halfway up a gum tree near the peppercorn tree,’’ she said.

Leaving the bowl of water at the base of the tree, Ms Bilston said it was an amazing experience.

‘‘To see this beautiful koala in the wild and so happy to receive some well-needed water as it is so dry out on the farm,’’ she said.