Tathra man shares rare moment with koala

A rare sighting of a koala has been captured on film north of Wapengo.

Tathra’s Michael Clarke was driving his truck to work in Bermagui just after 6am, when he took a bend south of Aragunnu Rd and was shocked to see the koala running down the road towards him.

Mr Clarke pulled his work truck over, taking a video of his encounter as he attempted to shoo the animal off the road.

“It’s good this happened, because it reassures people they are there,” the 40-year-old said.

“Not many people have seen them in the wild around here.

In the video, the koala can be seen walking along the side of the road, with Mr Clarke just metres away, before scampering up an embankment before climbing a small way up a nearby tree.

Tathra's Michael Clarke took the footage of the koala early on Monday morning. Picture: Michael Clarke

Tathra's Michael Clarke took the footage of the koala early on Monday morning. Picture: Michael Clarke

“It was awesome, he wasn’t in a hurry, but looked at me and scampered up the bank,” Mr Clarke said.

“I felt a bit of disbelief, because I drive that road a lot and most of the time you are on kangaroo watch.

“Afterwards I felt, sort of, elation because they are so elusive.”

While he drives the route regularly, this is the first time he has spotted a koala in the wild.

The koala was filmed 500 metres south of Aragunnu Rd. Picture: Goole Maps

The koala was filmed 500 metres south of Aragunnu Rd. Picture: Goole Maps

“A friend of mine has lived here his whole life and never seen one,” he said.

“I’ve got some friends down Hunters Rd [in Tanja] who reckon they hear them all the time, but never see them.”

Mr Clarke’s wife Catherine posted the video to social media on Monday, and by Tuesday it had been shared almost 100 times.

The koala scampered up an embankment before climbing a small way up a nearby tree. Picture: Michael Clarke

The koala scampered up an embankment before climbing a small way up a nearby tree. Picture: Michael Clarke

Mr Clarke said he was concerned predators such as foxes may threaten the animal, and corridors could be used across roads where koalas are known to frequent, in order to allow them safe travel across roads.

“In a perfect world it would be great,” he said.

“It would be good to protect the area for them.

“It made my day seeing him.”

This story Tathra man shares rare moment with koala first appeared on Bega District News.