In Year One at Winjeel, we have been learning about animals and their habitats. This year the children showed a particular interest in Koalas. While researching the features of koalas, their habitats and the things that threaten their survival, we came to realise that many of the children had never seen a ‘real life’ koala before. The children had many questions, wonderings and we thought it would enhance their learning if they could not only see a koala but also meet some koala and animal experts. On Thursday 31 May, the Year One Winjeel students travelled to Barwon Heads to visit the Jirrahlinga Koala Sanctuary.
We have learnt that the biggest threats to the survival of koalas are bushfires, land clearing and being hit by cars. Jirrahlinga rescues many injured animals each year. They rehabilitate them and then release them back into their natural habitat.
We were lucky enough to be able to see lots of different Australian animals and even touch a wombat and a koala. We had the chance to build on our knowledge by asking the experts our questions.
Tracy Hannett – Year One teacher, Winjeel
I was surprised to learn that the mother koala feeds its baby pap (which is the mothers poop.) It does this so that the joey can learn which type of eucalyptus leaves it can eat. The pap has the taste of the eucalyptus leaves. Ousar Huy
I think it is interesting that koalas have two thumbs on their front paws. This helps them to grip onto trees. Marco Cilmi
Wombats have ‘up and down’ pouches just like koalas. I was wondering why the baby doesn’t fall out. I asked the expert at Jirrahlinga and I was intrigued to discover that when the wombat is digging a burrow its back legs grip onto the pouch and then the joey stays safely inside.