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University students save stranded koala with a canoe trip to safety

Sophie Smith, August 29, 2017 7:01PM Herald Sun

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The lucky koala heads into the bush. Picture: still from Kirra Coventry video media_cameraThe lucky koala heads into the bush. Picture: still from Kirra Coventry video

animals

Reading level: green

UNIVERSITY students have rescued a stranded* koala from a bare tree in the Murray River, on the border of NSW and Victoria.

Students on a La Trobe University excursion believe the koala may have been stranded for days near Ulupna Island, about 60km west of Yarrawonga, before it was offered an empty canoe to climb into.

Student Kirra Coventry, who filmed the rescue on Sunday, said the koala didn’t appear to be in distress* at the time, but gratefully accepted a ride back to dry land.

The students were on an outdoor assignment when they first noticed the animal staring at one of their vessels*.

“We edged the boat up towards the tree to see if he was interested and that’s when he jumped in and was straight on-board,” Ms Coventry said.

“I think he’d been up there for a couple of days. They can swim but in that particular bit of the river the current moves quite quickly.

“When he got on to the shore we could see his bum and legs were a little bit wet so I think he’d tested the waters and decided he didn’t want to go in.”

GLOSSARY

stranded: stuck
in distress: upset
vessels: boats

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Koala rescue

Imagine you were the koala stranded in the tree.
Write a recount of how you got stranded and your rescue by the students.
Include all the important details mentioned in the article.
You can make some assumptions to fill in the story.

Extension: Alternative rescue methods

Luckily for this koala, the university students came along and were able to rescue him with their canoes.
Imagine you were hiking along the Murray River and saw him stranded but didn’t have a canoe or other kind of boat with you.
What else could you have used to help get this koala to safety?

Write a detailed description of what you could do for this koala.
Assume you have a backpack with regular hiking gear in it and access to things found in the bush.

Draw a diagram of what you might make.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Science, Critical and Creative Thinking, Design and Technology

Activity 2. Mind map

Create a mind map about koalas.

Begin by writing KOALA in a circle in the middle of a blank page.

Draw lines off the circle with further information about koalas.
You could include information about diet, habitat, behaviour, physical features and classification.

Use information that you know first and then research to add more information to your mind map.

Extension: PowerPoint presentation

Use the information from your mind map to create a PowerPoint presentation about koalas.

Organise the information logically and include pictures and images that are relevant to the information.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Science, Digital Technologies

EXTRA RESOURCES

DOG SKYDIVES TO THE RESCUE

WELCOMING A RARE WHITE KOALA

PAW-FECT RETURN FOR LOST CAT

POOCH PALS FOR YOUNG READERS

OMAR, THAT’S A BIG CAT!

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