Koalas cross here

CLEVER: Cleveland Redland koala learns how to read the signs.

CLEVER: Cleveland Redland koala learns how to read the signs.

Even koalas can read in the Redlands. The Smart State number plates may not have been a hit for Queensland, but they should be in our little city, at least for the wildlife.

I for one, applaud the intelligence of our wildlife every time I drive past a Koalas Cross Here sign. I mean my grandson, aged 3, loves koalas, but he can’t read that sign.

I look out for our little intelligent creatures, imagining perhaps a scholarly bespectacled furry little fellow, potentially not always obeying the road rules as he peruses his literary tome.

He could cross the road further up, but he glances momentarily skyward and notices that his crossing area is just metres down the road.  He scrambles towards the sign and pauses for a moment before stepping out, looking right then left just as his mother koala taught him. (The same mother that lovingly lulled him to sleep with that popular koala classic Please Don’t Call me a Koala Bear.)

Koalas may be au fey with the signs, but kangaroos seem to have missed out on those reading for wildlife sessions. Has anyone else noticed how much kangaroo road kill is littering the sides of our roads at the moment?  This either means that we have kangaroos aplenty and can spare a few to casualties, they can't read the signs about where to cross (surely they could hitch a ride with a koala) or our motorists just aren't taking sufficient care.

Predicting the habits of wildlife is clearly an artform.

Take for example, the irukandjii jellyfish that are supposed to infest our north Queensland beaches from October to May.

I know when I step into the water in late September or early June, I wonder whether they are all up on when they can come to shore. Are they queued up ready to swarm into the water on September 30? How is it safe to swim on the last day of September but not on the first day of October.

It is courtesy of these that we have some fairly spectacular shots of our daughter, closely resembling a walrus in her stinger suit. What makes these photos even more priceless is that she is surrounded by regular people wearing regular swimming costumes.

Our daughter was just being cautious and a little distrustful of the irukandji's ability to read. It must run in the family.

- Linda Muller