CLINGER – smashing those saplings.

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I always wondered why this line of trees, planted in 2012 just didn't do well in the first few years.  While the reason may look obvious seeing this, until I found Clinger doing this, I would not have believed it!  

What is amazing is that now, 8 years after planting, they are doing as well as the other trees of the same age.  The tree on the very front corner here is the one you saw being massacred.

And here in this tallest of this group of trees is our Bullet - you nearly didn't notice him, did you?  However, I often wonder if they would ever have grown to this size if Clinger had continued his regular buffet browsing of them for years. 

And here in this one, on a different day, is Phoenix. 

So, these trees are still being used by koalas, but truly it is a wonder they made it.

I will never forget the day in 2015 that I came along and happened upon Clinger having a feast.  Now remember, back then there would have been only about 20% the amount of food available on the property as there is today. 

So, I guess, he had to take what he could.  He was already a resident when the trees were first planted, so I guess he thought it was a private restaurant with his name on it.

This tree you can see him demolishing here now is the very one we just saw Bullet in earlier.  It was always one of the biggest and strongest of them all.  But he doesn't mind doing whatever he needs to get what he wants from the slender branches.  He was also obviously quite used to moving along the line of trees and taking whatever he could, knowing no one tree was going to be a full meal.

These mesh structures are supposed to be tree guards, but they have become a means for Clinger to climb and get into a tree otherwise too slender to take his weight. 

And when you still can't get in the tree - well bring the tree down to the ground to you.  That's pretty smart work!  

In the years since, I not seen any other koala doing anything quite like this. I'm not sure if this is because he was super clever, or because there is so much more food available now as thousands of trees have grown.

You can see that he has a buffet lined up and he is just working up and down at his leisure.   I actually lay flat on the ground filming this video as he moved up and down the line for 45 minutes. I was totally stunned by what I was seeing as I did not then know that koalas could be so ingenious, nor that they would put so much effort into a meal. 

If you look closely now, you can see he has a long, pronounced scent gland as he was a mature male.  I believe he had already been an alpha on the property when we first moved in in 2010.      No wonder he felt these trees were purely for him.

I often think of Clinger and his antics as I come along here each day checking the koala population on the property.  I often marvel that these trees have done so well and thrived, despite the rough beginning years they had. 

I always love seeing koalas in them now enjoying them without being quite so brutal as Clinger.  I have been told by locals that koalas often kill young trees they plant, and I realise that this is because planting only small amounts of trees is not enough.  We need to plant trees by the thousands if we are to really make a difference to the survival of our koalas.

Since this video was taken, at least another 2000 trees have self-sown or been planted at Koala Gardens, and those that were here have increased significantly in size. 

So, trees, trees and more trees is the only answer and Koala Gardens is dedicated to making that happen.