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Australia Zoo Treating Koalas after Multiple Car Strikes

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: November 23, 2020 11:39 pm

koala Australia zoo wildlife hospital

Matty the koala receives treatment at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

A group of koalas have been brought to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for treatment with all three being past patients of the hospital. The sad event demonstrates the increasing threats which koalas face in the wild.

Trauma season is always a trying time for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital with animals increasing their movements during Spring and Summer. This is being made even worse as the threat of domestic pets and cars increases.

27% of all admissions at the wildlife hospital are for car trauma followed closely by orphans, disease and attacks from domestic pets.

"Koalas in particular are affected by trauma season; we are seeing multiple koalas admitted every single day, it's a heart-breaking time of the year for our team at the hospital," said Dr Rosie Booth, Chief-of-Staff at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

"Last week, we had three koalas admitted in two days, all from South East Queensland and all past patients of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital," she shared.

koala Australia zoo wildlife hospital
koala Australia zoo wildlife hospital

Matty the koala receives treatment at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

One of the patients returning to the hospital is Sally. Her first admission was in December last year when she presented with Chlamydia. This was successfully treated and she returned to the wild where she was unfortunately a victim of a vehicle strike.

Currently koalas which are rescued in Queensland must be released with 5 kilometers of where they were found unless a special approval is granted by the Department of Environment and Science.

"It's tough not having the freedom and responsibility to release koalas into safe areas without having to go through so much red tape. We are so invested in these individual animals, and seeing them admitted to the hospital multiple times is devastating," said Dr Booth. "While it's great to be able to apply for exemptions to translocate koalas, the process can take months, which isn't good for the koala or the hospital, with so many koalas coming into care we need all the space we can get."

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Arriving within a few hours of Sally was Matty who was also hit by a car. He had been released just a week earlier after being rehabilitated following another vehicle strike.

"In urban areas, there is often no safe place for a koala within the legislated 5 kilometres of its rescue location. There are safe places 10 kilometres away and we know that koalas can be safely translocated from decades of post release monitoring. The veterinary managers of wildlife hospitals need the authority to make sensible release decisions for koalas to reduce the time koalas spend in care."

Matty and Sally were followed the next day by Bunny the koala. He spent three months in hospital last Christmas recovering from car trauma and has now returned following a dog attack.

"We're fighting to save his life. Like Sally, he will be spending another Christmas in hospital, and then hopefully we can find somewhere safe for him to live,” said Booth.

Joining Matty, Sally and Bunny in the Intensive Care Unit is Killian. She is now on her seventh admission to the hospital and is awaiting approval to be translocated to another location.

koala Australia zoo wildlife hospital

Sally the koala receives treatment from a vet at the wildlife hospital

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Learn more about koalas here – Koala Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital on their website – Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

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