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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Carers left shaken by vicious dog attack on koala

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People are being urged to be aware that koalas are on the move, and susceptible to dog attacks and cars. (File pic)
People are being urged to be aware that koalas are on the move, and susceptible to dog attacks and cars. (File pic)

Koala rescuers were left shaken recently after dealing with a female koala, carrying a 100 gram joey in her pouch, who was viciously attacked by two dogs.

The female koala had to be euthanised because of the serious of its injuries, but the tiny joey is now in a humidicrip and may survive.

Friends of the Koala care coordinator Susannah Keogh said the woman who brought the injured koala into the care centre had heard it screaming next door.

‘The woman heard her neighbour’s two Staffies mauling an animal late at night and the animal screaming in pain as it fought for its life,’ Ms Keogh said.

‘After some time when her neighbours hadn’t responded, she went into the property and managed to get the dogs off the animal which she had thought initially was a possum, only to find it was a koala in very bad shape but still alive.

‘She immediately jumped into her car to bring the koala to the Care Centre and called it in to our rescue phone on the way..

‘She was distraught because of the animal’s screams and the fact that the attack had gone on so long. If anyone has heard a koala scream in pain it’s a sound that you never want to hear again.’

‘The mother was in a shocking condition and had to be euthanased, but the tiny joey is now in a humidicrib and may have a chance to survive.

Ms Keogh said apart from this incident, already several healthy mature male and females have either been attacked recently by a dog or hit by a car causing their deaths.

‘We implore members of the public to keep their dogs restrained at night particularly and also to keep an eagle eye out for koalas around their properties and when driving, especially when they see the yellow and black koala signs.

‘That way we may reduce both koala fatalities and also support our volunteers who have to deal with the consequences of these incidents’.

Ms Keogh said although it’s still Winter, koalas and many of our native animals are on the move early, which means they’re crossing roads and properties and therefore more vulnerable to car hits and dog attacks.

‘Last year Friends of the Koala rescued 433 animals, which was a third more than we usually rescue’ said Care Coordinator Susannah Keogh.

‘However it looks as though it might be another tough year given this early activity. In the last two weeks we’ve rescued three orphan koalas, weighing 500, 300 and 100 gms, two of which were saved from mothers that were dead or had to be euthanased’.


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  1. Where is the dog owner in all this? What have they got to say for themselves. It would seem that these dogs (and possibly its owners) are a menace to society in general. A Koala is bad enough. Next it might be a child retrieving a ball or something. In the same way a person can’t kill a Koala that walks onto their land – neither should a dog be allowed. Get them euthanised now.

    • Locking dogs up as soon as the sun goes down is one important step people can take to protect wildlife. Not just in a yard but in a kennel or inside the house. I think the owners should be fined. Maybe if killing koalas suddenly starts costing money people might take more care.

      • Your so right Aliison !! Its a cost that needs to be heard and if people think they are wrong think about !! If it was a child or another dog there has been always the cost of money , either a dog getting put down or the owner of another dog has to pay vet bills !! So why not the Native Animals get the same treatment! And that includes THe Saving of An animal thats been attacked for No reason at all ,as the Koala does not know of there predators, its not their fault the have to walk on the ground because their tree has been cut down!! There is always a cost even if the good people pay for it!! So the irresponsible people that do not lock up their dogs at night should be fined ! They give us good responsible ones a bad name !! Just saying !! Thanks !!

  2. These types of dogs should be banned, the useless dog owners should have one of their children tied to a post then be forced to watch it being torn apart by a pack of dogs.

    • Any breed of dog is capable of inflicting devastating harm on a koala or other native wildlife, hence the need to keep them under control, especially at night. I have a had a great deal of experience with Staffords and they can be an excellent pet, best suited to being indoors when at home, around their owners. Without resorting to hyperbole (tying kids up, etc 🙂 ), I do think there should be legal sanctions for those who fail to control their pets (remember, domestic cats kill tens of millions of native animals each year), even on their own property, when this results in the death of a native animal, especially those listed as threatened. As Aliison said, hit owners in the hip pocket and they may start to take some responsibility for their animals.

    • It’s not just a matter of the dogs behaviour. As wildlife carers we are taught to not allow contact between animals in care and domestic pets, even if your consider your pet as ‘safe’, and irrelevant of the breed. Over familiarisation with domestic pets can lead to wildlife not having a healthy fear of these animals when they are released to the wild.

  3. Why do we humans respond by saying such vicious things! It is horrific to witness the anger and abusive mentality of the human race in this country. We live where the uniqueness of our wildlife is valued from those who come from far and wide yet as an Australian, few realise how very fortunate we are to have such unique species in our country. Government responsibility is fundamentally flawed. Human accountability is lacking and there seems no compassion amongst us. We tear each other apart and those who do not take responsibility for simple measures such as keeping dogs locked up at night, training our dogs which should be a responsibility of ALL who own a pet and simple common sense! It is not the fault of the dogs but of the owners who are not accountable.
    Carers witness time and time again the incredible lack of responsibility of the owners who should definitely be heavily fined! Perhaps make them responsible financially for the care and rehabilitation of this orphaned Joey. Teach the lesson and maybe even change the heart of one human at a time.


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