Koala media frenzy

August 09, 2017

The now famous koala in the Tocumwal Pharmacy on Friday.

Tocumwal is the talk of the world’s media this week, after photographs of a koala which wandered into the local pharmacy on Friday afternoon went ‘viral’.

The United Kingdom, Hungary and Malaysia are among the countries to have picked up the story over the last few days, along with a host of Australian print and television media outlets.

Tocumwal Pharmacy’s special visitor even prompted popular Australian celebrity veterinarian Dr Chris Brown to weigh in on the discussion.

‘‘With breeding season just around the corner, it’s likely this was a younger male looking to establish a new territory away from another dominant male,’’ Dr Brown speculated in his Facebook post.

But Tocumwal Pharmacy owner Ashley Wiles said it appeared the wandering koala was just up for a little ‘window shopping’.

‘‘He wasn’t bothered by anything, he was just really relaxed,’’ he said.

‘‘He came up to my daughter and I at one stage and we just stood there and watched it, and were amazed with how it wasn’t scared of us or other people.

‘‘The staff were great; we just let him do his own thing. The people that came in to look were fantastic; they didn’t touch him or frighten him, most just whipped out their phones to take pictures.

‘‘Some even watched him as he walked up the street to ensure he was safe.’’

Mr Wiles said the koala spent about 10 minutes in the pharmacy, wandering through the aisles.

When animal services arrived later in the day, they said the staff and customers did the right thing in letting the animal roam free.

As for the media coverage, Mr Wiles says it has been ‘‘overwhelming’’.

‘‘I even did an interview for Adelaide radio yesterday; I didn’t expect there to be so much attention.’’

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