Phil Liggett, the international voice of cycling, was amongst the first to brave a 103 km ride in the shape of a giant koala through the beautiful city streets of Adelaide, South Australia, and up through the picturesque Adelaide Hills to Cleland Wildlife Park.
The Koala ride designed with ‘Strava Art’, was led by Phil who, along with his partner, Trish, is an ambassador for the International Koala Centre of Excellence. Phil and Trish are keen to raise awareness about the plight of koalas, conservation and the need for research to secure the survival of Australia’s much loved koalas.
Eleven others passionate about nature, scientific discovery and conservation took on a hot, Adelaide, blue-sky day and rode the koala route with Phil – including Brett Godfrey, Co-Founder, Virgin Australia, Jeff Ellison, CEO, Sealink and Leanna Read, CEO and Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Cell Therapy Manufacturing.
Phil said while koalas appear plentiful in some parts of South Australia, in other parts of the country they have been declared vulnerable to extinction. But even in areas where numbers are increasing – koalas are still at risk. “Disease, climate change, loss of habitat, overcrowding and starvation, are key threats to koalas,” he said.
“The Koala Centre will undertake vital research projects, including research into oxalate nephrosis, a kidney disease which impacts around 60 percent of the koalas brought into care.
I’m encouraging animal lovers and conservationists, as well as keen cyclists, to find out more about the Great Koala Ride as well and the issues that impact koalas.
“It’s vital we take action now to understand and conserve these wonderful animals.”
So cyclists – you can view the Strava Art map here.