Ellie – a koala valentine special

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What’s up YouTube?

Hey is something going on between Hugo and Ellie?

And where are Jesse and Bullet in all this?

Watch and find out!

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Ellie was around 3 kilos when she first arrived at koala gardens in October 2020 and that seems too young to be ready to mate and become a mum. But maybe she was a little bigger than she looks. Or is Hugo just on a wishful thinking mission?

Let's have a look at some of what I've seen since the 21st of December, which is the first day that Hugo started hanging around, and this is also the first time I saw Ellie in this particular tree.

Now it's a week later and Hugo is in the same huge red gum. Ellie is back in that same young tree. And this was the first day that I began to think ‘hey what's going on here?’

Previous to this, Ellie would just go and hide in the dense bushes if he came around.

Well, the next day they both moved trees, and yeah, they were both in trees nearby to each other. Now look, it's quite unusual for Hugo to be here 2 days in a row. Particularly in the same patch of trees.

So, imagine my surprise to come along and find them both hanging around a third day running!

Now what I'm finding most intriguing, is that they're not in the same tree, just in adjacent or very close by trees.

You see, when a male koala mates a female, he'll hold her trapped in the tree for as long as he can. At least 24 hours if possible.

This is because he wants to ensure that she doesn't mate again straight away, as he wants to heighten the chances that she conceives to him.

Now just look at this posture.

Nearly two weeks later, Ellie has had a reprieve from his attentions, but this is suspiciously like what I expect a new koala mum to be doing.

And just one more week later again and they are back in adjacent trees. Hugo is high in that same red gum. And Ellie is in a nearby large red gum.

This behaviour now has me totally fascinated.

Now we jump forward another 10 days and look at Hugo. So pleased with himself. And yet I search awhile, but I can't find Ellie.

Matilda's down in an area where she likes to be. And I've not seen any of this behaviour between her and Hugo.

Then just as I round a corner to leave … can you see that blob deep in those wattles? That is Ellie. And that is the base of the tree that Hugo is in!

Let's find him. We look up … up … up … up and there he is. Unbelievable!

Well, I just had to go back that afternoon to see where they might have moved to.

Ellie was back in the young tree again nearby, and Hugo was down nearly into those wattles. So, I don't know if she was in the process of trying to sneak away when I came along in the morning and she succeeded. That's quite possible.

I was able to take some time to just sit and watch for a while. Hugo woke up after a while and he moved about smelling everything over. After all, we know don't we, that koalas do everything by smell.

And then finally just as I was about to leave … I couldn't believe my eyes! In the next big red gum was Jesse. Had I truly gone right past him that morning as well as in the afternoon?

So, there's Jesse. And Ellie is in a tree just about in the middle. And then over to the right, there's Hugo.

So, it would be very fair now for one to wonder: so, where's Bullet?

Well, here he is, a little distance away. Sitting snug and quiet and sleepy in the soft release tree! I keep the gate open, as this tree is important to the colony, and Bullet has always used it. As have other koalas over the years.

These birds are Rainbow Lorikeets.  They are beautifully coloured native birds in the parrot family.

And just below them is Ellie. Note that suspicious laid-back posture on her yet again? And right in the very next tree, you guessed it, it's Hugo. He's now spending twice the number of days on the property that he normally would.

And the very next day, Ellie is still in the same big red gum, and that posture! And Hugo is still in the next tree.

You and I are gonna be doing the math later this year for sure if little Ellie does indeed have a pouch expand, and a joey emerge.

Oh wow, you did it! You got all the way through.

So please write in the comments for me “Ellie 4 Hugo!”

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