Clancy’s Soap Opera

Spot the koala

By Meagan Patroni

As soap operas go, there’s love, loss and a rollercoaster of emotions. That’s the case for a fella I met in Victoria’s You Yangs; Clancy. His handsome features, rugged hands, round behind and eyes to-die-for draw the ladies from miles. In fact, I have travelled 45 minutes from Melbourne to see him. It’s a worthwhile journey – as me and two friends stare up at him in delight.

Clancy is a koala. He’s not just any koala though. This six-year-old is a ladies man. He draws them from near and far, including from far over the mountains, enticed by his cologne. It’s an earthy scent, not appealing to everyone. Best described as ‘horsy’ with overtones of Eucalyptus – it often finds you before your eyes find the fluffy grey mounds of a koala clinging to a tree. Another way to find Clancy is by his poo.

Before I meet Clancy, Janine Duffy from Echidna Walkabout picks up some poo and sniffs it. “Yep, it’s fresh. Clancy is near by.” I poke my nose toward her hand and note the fresh scent of Eucalyptus. I’m surprised that my nose isn’t offended by his sweet smelling scat.

I don’t usually go around picking up poo – but I am assured it’s important to do as we take a glimpse into the dramatic life and times of Clancy and his babes. You see, Clancy and his lady loves are in trouble. Climate change threatens their survival.

Naturally koalas hydrate by getting water from the leaves of Eucalypts and even by sipping off trees as rain runs down them. Less rain means less hydration. Also, increased CO2 is changing the composition of the trees so they are getting less nutrition from the trees and their lives are shorter.

“There’s good news though,” says Janine. “The answer is better trees.”

Echidna Walkabout Tours is working with local farmers, volunteers and tourists to rid the You Yangs of weeds and plant the tastiest, most nutrition Eucalyptus for Clancy and his ladies. This is great news because Clancy is an expectant father.

To help, you can hang out in Clancy’s hood, maybe even meet his Mum and learn more about his love affairs. As you pluck weeds and plant trees, you can secure the future for an Aussie icon in one of the most beautiful, accessible koala habitats.

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