Distressing time for koala rescuers in Gympie region
IT'S been a rough week for koalas in the Gympie region this week with five separate incidents involving the iconic marsupials.
It started on Sunday with the rescue of a large male who had been spotted by motorists and reported to Australian Native Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Association. It was perched atop an Energex pole on Tin Can Bay Rd at Coondoo Creek.
Robyn and Kevin Jackson, foundation members of Koala Action Gympie Region, were called in to rescue and release the male.
"Energex were the ones who rescued him. They got a cherry picker and got him down. We released him into nearby native trees. He went to go up another pole on the other side of the road but we got him down before he got too far up,” Ms Jackson said of the four-hour operation.
"It was good for us to release him straight into the wild. We called him 'Sparky' when we recorded him on koala tracker.”
On Sunday, Paula Rowlands of ANARRA arranged the tree rescue of a koala with chlamydia at Kilkivan. The koala was sent to Wacol Animal Hospital.
Ms Rowlands also arranged the transport of a Widgee koala (with a joey in her pouch) to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital also for treatment of chlamydia on Thursday.
In both of these cases residents recognised the animals needed help by the koala's "dirty bottoms”.
KAGR co-ordinator Michelle Daly said she was called to inspect and report on a dead koala on Kandanga Creek Rd.
"Our group supports and helps the rescue services and one thing we can help with in a practical way is to go to dead koalas to check them and gather important data as I did on Monday at Kandanga,” Ms Daly said.
On Tuesday an injured male koala at Kandanga was rescued by Qld Koala Rescue and sent to Wacol Animal Hospital.
"It was very sad for the residents who had observed him coming and going over the years,” Ms Daly said.
She said the number of incidents involving koalas was only likely to increase as the breeding season approached.
"At this time of year, leading up to breeding season, the young two to three-year-old male koalas are dispersing and moving away from mum to look for a new breeding group to attach themselves to,” she said.
"They can cover a lot of ground in their search, and can end up in strange and sometimes dangerous situations.
"This is more difficult in areas where their habitat is rather patchy, and where there are lots of dangers along the way, which can include roads, dogs and livestock.”
Ms Daly said the flashing signs at Kia Ora would be on between August 1 and January 31, warning motorists to be extra careful in the biggest hot spot for koalas in the region but said there were koala habitats across the region.
If you come across injured wildlife call the 24-hour hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or Gympie ANARRA Wildlife rescue on 5484 9111.