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Hugo, a large male koala, likely weighing around 8 kg or more and showing typical alpha qualities such as a large round head, huge nose, small ears and eyes, first arrived in April,2019. He only spent a handful of days at Koala Gardens, but then came back in August. 

Hugo spent 52 days at Koala Gardens in 2019 seemingly for a lot of that time following Racee, so it is possible he is the father of her 2020 joey (Racee did not raise this joey at Koala gardens).

Against a background of leaves and sky, alpha male Hugo is asleep in a tree. He is holding onto a vertical branch with all four paws, his left arm is resting on a semi horizontal branch and his head is resting on this arm. The view of his large round face is obscured by the branch he is holding on to, but his dark nose and white chin can be seen.
Hugo is in a tree surrounded by leaves which obscure his body and partially obscure his face. Facing right, he is looking over his right shoulder,. His dark can be seen as can his right eye, which is open. He looks alert.

By 2020 Hugo was established as an Alpha male whose territory covered the Southwest end of the property. This was only a small part of his home range, so he was often away from Koala Gardens “on patrol” Interestingly, most of the activity by all of the new girls during the second half of the year was in Hugo’s area, he certainly seemed to be attracting them in.

 In 2021. Hugo for many months after the breeding season, but then suddenly he was back again. Alpha males have to move around a lot and work hard to maintain a presence in their home range.

Hugo - a koala in a forest red gum tree. He is holding on to a semi horizontal branch and looking back over his  left shoulder. His prominent scent gland is visible as he does this.
A close up view of Hugo as he sits in a rough barked tree surrounded by branches and leaves. Facing right, he is holding on to the branch in front of him and looking over his right shoulder to camera, giving a full view of his round face with its white chin and dark nose. His eyes are open, he looks relaxed.
Alpha male Hugo in a tree holding the vertical branch in front of him. His large round face is turned towards the camera.

Hugo is treated for chlamydial conjunctivitis

In 2022 he spent 5 weeks in hospital with chlamydial conjunctivitis. During his absence his “lookalike” Hudson appeared on the property, but on his return alpha Hugo wasted no time in asserting his dominance this part of his own range.

Surrounded by branches and leaves, alpha male Hugo is sitting in a tree with his head resting on a horizontal branch in front of him, giving a clear view of his large round face. His eyes are open and he looks alert.
Against a background of leaves and facing right, Hugo is in a tree holding onto the vertical branch in front of him with all four paws. He is looking ahead of him, turning slightly to camera allowing for a full view of his face. His eyes are open and he looks alert.

At first Hugo appeared to be doing well after treatment. Unfortunately, this disease can be insidious and he slowly began to lose condition again. The chlamydia had compromised more internal organs than was first thought. Just before Christmas 2022, Hugo was found sitting on the ground, hardly responsive. Katrina was able to get him to the hospital but he was in a lot of pain and very unwell. Sadly it was not possible to save him.

A photo of Hugo’s head and shoulders as he relaxes in a tree with his head resting on a semi-horizontal branch. His left arm is dangling over the branch, the right side of his face rests against the it. His dark nose and white chin are prominent, his eyes are open, but he does not appear to be focusing on anything.

Hugo had a large following amongst the supporters of Koala gardens. He was nicknamed “Basketball” due to his roundness (an alpha characteristic). He will be missed, but he is the likely father of many of the joeys seen around Koala Gardens in 2022 and has left an amazing legacy.

Hugo has lots of videos on YouTube  where he has his own playlist. (below). He appears in the Koala Gardens Happenings for 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Join the Colony and get involved

You can become part of the Koala Gardens Colony by adopting one of the resident wild koalas. You can also become a Patron,  and one level has an adoption option.

Come and discuss Koala Gardens and all things koala on Discord where we hold lots of interesting and often in-depth discussions there. Lots of fun!

You will become part of the family and help  provide much needed koala habitat.

You can also follow Katrina and the Koalas on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Koala Gardens publishes a small number of delightful illustrated children’s books in the The Adventures of Mist series. Check out the beautifully engaging and educational design.  Our mission is to help children to “Fall in love with Nature”.

You can even find some great Koala Gardens gifts over at Redbubble where there is huge range of designs on an even bigger range of items.

Alternatively, you can find quick access links to everything Koala Gardens via Link Tree.

Hugo is looking straight at the camera and his eyes look very clean and clear.