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’.