You can hold my koala but not wash your hands

Sunday in Brisbane (that’s in Australia) was a perfect chance to discover the local wildlife: kangaroos and koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Emma and Sorenne were overly excited by the opportunity. When it was their turn to get their photo taken with the koala, however, I noticed the sign on the hand sanitizer station saying, “Out of Order. Sorry for any inconvenience.” As we exited the area into the food court, Emma grabbed some sanitizing wipes that were available (but unmarked and almost not noticeable) on a table and cleaned up Sorenne’s hands the best she could.

After our afternoon “tea” (that’s Australian for “snack”), we headed into the Kangaroo Rescue area. For $2 I bought a rather large bag of kangaroo feed, and we proceeded to shove our hands into the faces of every kangaroo who passed by. Emma was brave and lay down on the ground to pose with one of the big boys. For me the highlight was either seeing a pregnant mommy ‘roo whose joey was wiggling about in her pouch or watching Sorenne’s face light up when the baby kangaroos ate from her hands (right exactly as shown).

Upon exiting the area (which was filled with scrub turkeys, ducks, wombats, emus and feces in addition to the kangaroos), there was a handwashing station with ample running cold water and soap but no paper towel to dry hands. The park prides itself on reusing water, and there was clear signage indicating that all water in use was recycled except for handwashing, food preparation, and drinking water. I didn’t feel confident that they were able to separate distribution so well after realizing that handwashing wasn’t possible in the koala cuddling zone.

Handwashing really isn’t simple, especially when the proper tools are not available.