About Koala Lakorra

koala female Lakorra


Lakorra is a 7 year old female koala living in the You Yangs. Her mother is Ngardang. Though full grown, she still shares her mother’s home range.

Back in 2019, we watched a fascinating interaction between Lakorra and her 1 year old brother Bunyip.

At 09.00 on 3 January 2019 two koalas were found in the same Spotted Gum tree, both very high and within a metre of each other. At 10.30 I confirmed their identities as Lakorra and her half-brother Bunyip. They were still sitting quite close to each other.

female koala You Yangs
Koala Lakorra before the action

At 10.44 we saw Lakorra jump to Bunyip’s branch, climb up and sniff his rump, then returned to her original location.

Over the next few minutes Lakorra returned to Bunyip’s branch, climbed up again and looked at him several times. She was very close to him, but didn’t attempt to touch him again. He was hanging on by one arm, looking down at her. Watch:

Wild koala sibling interaction

She climbed across to the next branch, and continued looking up at him. Her ears were pricked, eyes wide with interest. Bunyip remained focussed on her the whole time.

Joey Bunyip looking down at his big sister

Four minutes later Lakorra started climbing down the tree. She reached the ground, sniffed the ground, and walked a few steps to the north. She sniffed the ground again, took a few more steps then stopped suddenly and looked up at the tree where Bunyip was.

Koala Lakorra kept looking back at her brother

Lakorra climbed a small Yellow Box tree beside her, just 1 metre from the original Spotted Gum, but almost immediately climbed back down again. She took a few more steps to the north, but stopped again on the ground, looking up at the Spotted Gum.

Bunyip had started climbing down. He descended the tree to the ground, while his sister Lakorra stayed still watching him.

Near the ground Bunyip paused, and Lakorra turned to face him. She then walked a few paces to the west, while Bunyip stared at her. She stopped, looking back at Bunyip. She continued walking to the west, and jumped up into a Pincushion Hakea tree. She climbed a few metres.

Bunyip climbed down to the ground, and followed her. At the base of her hakea he stopped, sniffing the trunk where she had climbed. He sniffed several locations on the trunk, even putting his hands up on the trunk to sniff higher. He looked up the tree towards her once, then walked off to the north.

young male koala Bunyip
1 year old Bunyip

Bunyip climbed a tree just 15 metres away from Lakorra. He was seen still there at 11.46, but Lakorra had moved on.

We’re not sure what this was all about. It really looked like Bunyip wanted to play with his sister. Lakorra must have known Bunyip was her mother’s joey – after all she lives very close to her mother and would have noticed him as a joey. His smell would have been familiar to her, and hers to him. Were they simply playful, curious siblings? Or was Lakorra showing the young boy that she was in charge?

Family Tree:

Babarrang – Vincent??
Ngardang – Winberry
Lakorra (f) b. 2017
siblings: Wurdi (m) b 2016 Bunyip (m) b 2018 Winjku (f) b. 2019 Kallama (m) b. 2020; Goim (m) b 2022

Who does Lakorra share habitat with?

Her nearest neighbour is her mother Ngardang, and dominant male Gulkurguli’s home range encompasses them both. Other females are close by too – Goora and her joey Biyal, her grandmother Babarrang. Male Mongarrk is not far away.

How will climate change affect her?

We think climate change is already affecting koala Lakorra. She has never raised a joey. It is possible that the warming climate and declining health of the environment are part of the cause. Perhaps she isn’t strong enough to raise a joey, or seek a new home area.

How will our tree planting projects affect her ?

New habitat takes pressure off existing habitats and the koalas living in them. Some koalas are not strong or adventurous enough to move, and when times get difficult, they get pushed out by bigger koalas. By planting new habitat the strong koalas are drawn to it, which takes pressure off shy koalas like Lakorra.

Help plant a tree to take pressure off Lakorra today: https://www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/donate/

Here’s a cute video of Lakorra as a tiny joey with her mother Ngardang:

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