Koalas feel the heat at West Pennant Hills park

There will be even less koala action in West Pennant Hills’ Koala Park today.

“We’ve had the sprinklers on this morning [but] you can’t hose a koala,” park hostess Linda Claridge said.

That’s not so surprising when you consider the name Koala comes from an Aboriginal word that means "no drink”.

The koalas at Koala Park share their sanctuary with peacocks, cockatoos, emus, wombats, echidnas, Rainbow Lorikeet, Wedge-Tailed Eagles, kangaroos, dingoes and even native Australian penguins who are probably faring the best in this heat because they have their own pool.

The koalas, who spend 24 hours of the day, or more, sleeping or resting in gum trees, are probably feeling the heat the worst, Ms Claridge said.

“If they’re very hot they’ll come lie on the ground because the ground’s cooler,” she said.

“Some of them you’ll see free-ranging in the park, close to the tree trunks, where it’s cooler.

“If one got distressed or we had an old one, we’ve got an air-conditioned room where we can put them.”

She said the koalas dangle on leaf sat in a pot.

“We change the leaf twice a day but as you can see, a day like today it’s already started to wilt,” Ms Claridge said.

Koala Park was created in the 1920’s but didn’t officially open its doors until 1930.

Founder Noel Burnet opened it after becoming alarmed at the high number of koalas being shot for the then large export fur trade.

“Because the park is so old and the trees are so high, you’ll notice it’s hotter as soon as you get out of the park,” Ms Claridge said.

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