Creature comforts

Creature comforts

It was gen­tly, gen­tly as Cle­land Koalas set­tle into a new home in Hong Kong.

Does mov­ing house sound like a lot of hard work and prepa­ra­tion? Well spare a thought for the effort that went into fly­ing three South Aus­tralian koalas about 6880 kilo­me­tres to get to their new home at one of the world’s most pop­u­lar theme parks in Hong Kong.

Sure­ly all the usu­al ques­tions sprung to mind – where to move to, will it be even nicer than the old place, what needs to be packed?

And for an inter­na­tion­al move there’s all kinds of oth­er ques­tions to think about – how to adapt to a new cul­ture, will it be easy to pick up the lan­guage, and of course, what about the food?

Lucky for these koalas, great prepa­ra­tion meant a super-smooth tran­si­tion. Plus they ticked all the right box­es on a typ­i­cal house-hunters checklist:

Loca­tion, loca­tion, location

Creature comforts

Often the biggest fac­tor in mov­ing house is the loca­tion of where you’re mov­ing to. The new address for the three Cle­land Wildlife Park koalas is the pur­pose-built Adven­tures in Aus­tralia’ exhib­it at Ocean Park, Hong Kong. The park has more than sev­en mil­lion vis­i­tors every year and is known for its high stan­dards in con­ser­va­tion and ani­mal care. What’s not to like?

Archi­tec­tur­al features

For­mer­ly a the­atre, the space has under­gone exten­sive ren­o­va­tions to cre­ate the Adven­tures in Aus­tralia’ exhib­it. It’s designed around the idea of an Aus­tralian back­yard, where homes often bor­der onto bush­land and there’s a lot of con­tact between peo­ple and ani­mals. Part of the renos was allow­ing plen­ty of nat­ur­al sun­light in to cater for the plant and ani­mal residents.

Crea­ture comforts

Creature comforts

There real­ly is no place like home. So if you’re mov­ing over­seas, what bet­ter way to set­tle in than by sur­round­ing your­self with some of the crea­ture com­forts of home? Well there’s no Veg­emite or Neigh­bours for these jet­set­ting koalas, but they do have good neigh­bours of a dif­fer­ent kind with their native Aus­tralian friends – kook­abur­ras and red-necked wal­la­bies – shar­ing the enclosure.

Local din­ing

Creature comforts

It’s always nice to try the local cui­sine but some­times you just want some­thing you’re used to. Lucky for our koalas their favourite home-style cui­sine is on hand, with a Euca­lyp­tus Tree Farm grow­ing at Ocean Park itself, and oth­er Euca­lyp­tus plan­ta­tions near­by. Sure the Hong Kong-grown vari­ety took a lit­tle bit of get­ting used – let’s face it, noth­ing ever tastes like grandma’s ver­sion – but the koalas are lov­ing it now and are each munch­ing on about 1kg of leaves a day.

A sound investment

Set­tling into a new home takes time. It’s not just the new address and the dif­fer­ent bus route, it’s also the odd sounds that you might not have heard at your old place. The Cle­land koalas did a lot of prep-work before their trip to take some of the scare-fac­tor out of the equa­tion, includ­ing famil­iaris­ing them­selves with some of the dif­fer­ent sounds they might encounter. They lis­tened to audio of flight engines, humans speak­ing in Chi­nese, and the back­ground nois­es that they would hear in their new enclo­sure, to make them feel a lit­tle more at ease on the trip over and when they arrived.

Open inspec­tions

Every hour 1000 peo­ple can vis­it the Adven­tures in Aus­tralia exhib­it and see these Aussie koalas doing what they do best – eat­ing, sleep­ing and being adorably cute. So times this by 10 for the dai­ly open­ing hours and that’s a whole lot of peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing Australia’s wildlife and get­ting a taste of SA’s nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. All vis­i­tors are also shown a short video that pro­motes the state as the home­land for these beau­ti­ful crea­tures and show­cas­es Cle­land Wildlife Park, Kan­ga­roo Island, the Flinders Rangers and the River­bank Precinct.

Can’t afford to hop on a plane and vis­it these ex-pats right now? Well that’s the beau­ty of hav­ing koalas right at our doorstep. Head to Cle­land and take a pho­to (or a post­card shot) with some of the extend­ed family.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living