A new children’s book authored by Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Koala Specialist and Mammal Supervisor Sarah Eccleston is helping to raise the next generation of Koala conservationists.

Starring Enzo, a real Koala born and bred at the Sanctuary, Have You Seen a Tree for Me? follows the journey of a young Koala, looking for a tree of his own.

“It’s showing examples of the dangers Koalas face in the wild – loss of habitat, the introduction of domestic animals and then of course roads,” said Sarah.

The story is for children aged between 3 and 10 years old. Its messages of love, adventure and conversation will inspire young people to grow their passion for the environment and educate them about how to protect our precious local Koala population.

“Just little things – keep your dog locked up at night time, plant a tree in your backyard, drive carefully when you’re in Koala habitat. And they’re little things that the kids can nag about to their mums and dads.”

Author Sarah Eccleston has 22 years of experience at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and an impressive resume of research projects.

“Some of the most important Koala habitat on the Gold Coast is just disappearing before our eyes. I really just want to save these guys,” she said. “That’s my passion. I’ve done my part now, so I need to leave a legacy to ensure that the younger generation are looking after them into the future.”

She has helped raise three-year-old Koala Enzo since he was a joey. Their special bond inspired her to put pen to paper and create Have You Seen a Tree for Me?

“He’s just such a character! He’s so adventurous! He’s the kind of Koala that, in the wild, would get into strife. But he’s one of the lucky ones, because he was born in a sanctuary, so he’s safe.”

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Manager, Michael Kelly said "Sarah's work with Koala conservation and breeding programs is second to none and we are incredibly proud of Sarah for taking this to the next level in the publishing of this new children's book".

Have You Seen a Tree for Me? features colourful artwork by illustrator Jenni Goodman. The story has been adapted into activity books, available free with every child’s general admission ticket purchased for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary throughout September, which is National Koala Month.

The book will be available at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary gift shop, QBD bookstores, and online. Copies are available for online at www.currumbinsanctuary.com.au

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