Saturday 27 December 2014

Royal pair get to grips with koalas

Published 07/11/2012 | 09:14

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met koalas in Adelaide

The Duchess of Cornwall has been left smitten after cuddling a koala with the Prince of Wales.

Camilla cradled Matilda, a nine-month-old orphan, and said she wanted to take the tiny furry creature home with her.

Charles was more pragmatic and joked about the koalas' reputation for having weak bladders when he was handed Kao, aged four. "Something ominous will run down," he said.

Koala rescue volunteers Warren and Rae Campbell had brought the animals to Government House in Adelaide for the royal couple to meet.

The two animals were busily munching eucalyptus leaves as they hung on to the Campbells when the royal couple walked onto a veranda at the historic building. The couple offered them to the Prince and Duchess, with Camilla saying to Charles as she gestured to Kao "you take the big one, darling".

The koala's were wrapped in cloth pouches and as the Duchess held her tiny animal she joked: "They've got their nappies on."

The Prince's koala faced away from him and he said: "I can't see this one at all, he's looking down all the time."

Camilla affectionately stroked the tiny joey koala in her arms during the five-minute meeting and Charles held his animal a little closer the longer the encounter went on.

Mrs Campbell, 68, from Trott Park, Adelaide, and her 74-year-old husband have been rescuing and looking after Australian wildlife for more than 50 years. The couple volunteer for Fauna Rescue of South Australia - a leading wildlife conservation group - and often travel hundreds of miles a week to rescue endangered animals.

Mr Campbell joked: "The Duchess said we've got them in nappies but I said we didn't want to pay their dry cleaning bill."

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