Jesse update for Feb 2021

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It's definitely time for another Jesse update.

Jesse our little Houdini on the property.

You'll get to see how well he's doing and how he copes with biting insects in the wet.

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Welcome to Koala Gardens. I'm Katrina. And I'm passionate about saving koalas. I have a wildlife sanctuary and encourage other landowners in what they can do to help the environment.

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Koalas sometimes have this really funny thing that they do, which is where, when they realise that I've started filming them they just stop chewing. They just go into that “if I freeze, she can't actually see me”. But you can see that Jesse's actually got a leaf hanging out of his mouth.

Eventually, Jesse just decided ‘oh ok, she's just standing there. I'm gonna have to finish this mouthful and he takes off chewing again. See that scrawny little arm?

Remember, I'm never as close to the koalas as the zoom in my camera makes it appear.

But he certainly knew I was there. And after a bit of chewing, turns looks at me, stops again, and then goes back to chewing. He's decided I'm really not worth taking any notice of again.

Look at the size of that leaf that he's eating. It's about as long as his head.

Jesse is basically taking pretty much every opportunity he can to eat as many leaves as possible, from as many different trees as possible. From the big, tall, mature trees, down to the younger, self-sown trees and even the plantation trees.

In case you're not familiar with the story of Jesse: Jesse was in out of Friends of the Koala for nearly 18 months. And he had many different gut issues, which is a really serious problem for koalas and every time we got him nearly back up to being really good in health, he would slip backwards again. So, we decided to bring him out and give him a little bit of time in the soft release tree here to see how he would cope out in a more natural environment.

And against all odds, two days later he escaped. We decided to just do a bit of a watch and see situation and two months later, Jesse is eating, eating, eating and has basically not left the property. So, we’re just letting him do his thing.

You can also see his scrawny little chest quite clearly here and it's obvious that he's never really even developed a scent gland even though he's a fully mature adult male.

I wonder what's gonna happen over the next year.

I could watch nearly any koala eat pretty much all day long. I think they just really immerse themselves in the whole experience. Now we know that those eucalyptus leaves are really tough, so they have to chew so methodically with those molar teeth. And they have to fill their belly as much as they can and that's why they then go and sleep for hours and hours and hours while all the bacteria inside their caecum - which is what we call our appendix -does all that digesting for them.

On this day, I happened to be standing at the back gate at the edge of my little backyard area, looking out and I can see Jesse. That tree that he's in is one of the ones that Clinger used to smash, and you might have seen videos about that.

Now, I'm looking directly East, over the coastline and that really large tree on the right is the tree that's inside the soft release.

I'm gonna do a 180 degree turn now and you can see that I am indeed standing in my backyard area, and there's the house. If I'm standing at the house and looking at the gate, there's a very typical site: a beautiful kookaburra.

The very next day, Jesse was in one of the beautiful younger self-sown trees. This tee is about 10 years old and it's now down directly East from the house, so down in the area we were looking down over just before. And if I turn 90 degrees you can see the backyard area there and the house.

And this big tree here is one of bullets favourite trees. It’s a beautiful big mature forest red gum. It would be at least 100 years old and if I moved to the side a bit, and zoom over there's Bullet’s very favourite trees that he's been very acrobatic in.

Jesse has some of the funniest laid back sleeping positions.

And this time, Jesse is nestled in one of the swamp mahoganies in the plantation area, and as it happens, it is right beside the kindy. I forgot to mention earlier that Jesse also escaped from the kindy one time. That's why sometimes you'll see me calling Jesse, Houdini.

You might notice that his bottom is a little bit stained, but don't let that worry you. That's from all of the times that he had the runs, back when he was in care. Eventually that will clean up as new hair grows in.

I'm glad to report that this summer has been so lovely and wet compared to the awful drought of last year and you can see that koala fur tends to repel the water really well.

As a result of his long illness and time in care, Jesse's arms and shoulders are still looking pretty scrawny. But the more he eats and the more he climbs, the better they are going to get.

And really, this fella has just got such a face, hasn’t he? Look at that lovely nose pattern. So easy to identify him with.

Some days I only get to see him sleeping, some days I get to seem quite active, but I'll take whatever I can, as long as I keep seeing Jesse.

I think Jesse is pretty much stealing the hearts of everyone around the world. And who wouldn't love a face like that?

Now with the wet weather we've been having, there's a lot of mosquitoes and biting insects around. But Jesse knows how to keep clearing them off his nose. That's the place that they’re most vulnerable to being bitten.

So, it's great to see Jesse looking pretty comfy and quite settled.

And you know what? You've made it all the way through another video! So, since you've been such a hero and made it this far, can you write in the comments below: ‘My hero is Jesse!”

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