Healesville Sanctuary's baby koala Benni
pops out of mum Mia's pouch
Healesville Sanctuary's baby koala and newest rising star has been christened Benni. The moniker recognises the Gippsland township of Bennison from where the sanctuary's first koala population hailed. And it also recognises the significance of the 75th anniversary of the celebrated fauna park.
Herald Sun reader Laura Doorty nominated the name in honour of her late dad Frank Doran, a cattle farmer charged with capturing and transporting the marsupials from his property to Healesville's Koala Sanctuary.
Now 87, Ms Doorty remembers her family's involvement in the establishment of the Koala Sanctuary at Healesville. "Dad was approached by Mr Jack Lindupp, a postal official at Healesville, to catch and supply the first koalas to the Healesville Sanctuary," she daid. "A permit was secured from the fisheries and Wildlife department and Dad captured the koalas by felling the trees and restraining them."
Ms Doorty, who was aged about 12, "stood there while they were caught and helped hold the bags open while they went in." Her sister Gladys Clavarino, now 91, was also present. "Word was then sent to Healesville that they were ready to be picked up. They were transported to the sancuary in kerosene tin cases, (one in each case). "Some cases were inside the car and there were three of the tins with koalas in them on each side running board."
Ms Doorty was "totally thrilled" the name has been adopted by the koala keepers. "It is real history from way back to the start of it all," she said. "All the koalas arrived in perfect condition and quickly settled down in their new surroundings." - Kelly Ryan, Melbourne Herald Sun.
Check out Benni's picture gallery here.