TREEHUGGER: Benson at rest in Winwood Drive. PHOTO: DEBBIE HANDLEY
TREEHUGGER: Benson at rest in Winwood Drive. PHOTO: DEBBIE HANDLEY

'Benson' makes himself at home in South Grafton

A KOALA has moved into treetops in residential South Grafton and was first reported to the Clarence Valley branch of WIRES in September last year.

A resident spotted him in a forest red gum on Winwood Dr, near Grafton Golf Course.

WIRES koala co-ordinator Patricia Edwards said: "We've called him Benson because he seems to mainly hang around Bent St.

"In the last few months, a number of people have found him in their yard and called in to ask for advice.

"Of course we can't be completely sure it's the same koala each time … What we need are a few more photographs showing the mottles on his fur or his pink nose patches, which are like a fingerprint in koalas."

He appeared to be a normal, healthy koala, and WIRES was asking everyone to just let him go on his way, or leave him to rest in his chosen place.

"Dogs are the main worry," Mrs Edwards said. "But really there's nothing we can do about that. He has chosen his area and so far has managed to do well for several months."

Mrs Edwards said people had been helpful in ensuring Benson's safety.

"People … seem to know automatically to lock their dogs up while the koala is there."

Koalas are nocturnal, so a dog can be left to run normally in the daytime.

"People are urged to shut their dogs indoors on early dusk, when the koala can be expected to start to move again," Mrs Edwards said.

"We suspect he finds most of his food in the big tallowwoods along the top of Bent St and also the forest red gums around the golf course and dotted around the suburbs. If people want to keep their koala safe and well, council and residents need to protect his food trees."



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