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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Koala spotted on the road at Ewingsdale

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A koala has been sighted on the roadside in the vicinity of the Ewingsdale interchange and St Helena Tunnel. (File pic)

Motorists driving into and out of Byron Bay, and in the vicinity of the St Helena Tunnel, have been asked to slow down and keep their eyes open for a koala that is moving around the area.

Susannah Keogh, care co-ordinator for Friends of the Koala, told Echonetdaily their rescue hotline had had ‘four or five calls about it this morning, all which put the koala in a different place.

‘It was last seen in the approach to the tunnel, near the Ewingsdale roundabout,’ she added.

‘We’ve still got people out there looking for it.’

The Transport Management Centre has reopened the tunnel but Ms Keogh implored motorists to drive carefully and contact the hotline on 6622 1233 if they spotted the Koala.

2017 koala death in tunnel

The appearance of the koala follows footage obtained by the ABC under freedom of information yesterday showing a truck driver running over a koala in the tunnel in 2017 despite explicit instructions to avoid that lane of the tunnel.

According to the ABC, the report said the tunnel operator ‘activated LED signs commanding drivers to stay in the left lane, and then made urgent calls for wildlife rescue volunteers to attend’.

The network quoted the rerport as saying that at around 3:00am, ‘The tunnel operators turned on UHF radio to Channel 29 and questioned why the truck driver had disobeyed traffic directions and ran over the animal. [The] truck driver brushed it off stating there is no need to rescue the animal now.’

 

 


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3 COMMENTS

  1. that last comment from the truck driver is a disgrace he should be able to be charged!!! what sad soul he has!!!
    “[The] truck driver brushed it off stating there is no need to rescue the animal now.”

  2. Tha SMH showed graphic footage of the truck overtaking another truck in the tunnel and running over the koala.
    The trucks details were plainly visible.
    The driver needs to be charged with this crime. He cannot be allowed to simply brush it off

  3. I hope the video footage that has now been made public the NSW Police and RMS will issue fines to the Lindsay Brothers driver with reckless driving for failing to follow traffic control directions. In that area and there is no reason the truck needed to be in that lane as its an up hill climb to enter the tunnel with numerous signs to control traffic.
    I personally know what it’s like to rescue koalas and that’s hard enough. Stopping on highways and major roads can be very scary and dangerous but we do it because the Koala needs help. The last thing we need is arrogant truck drivers purposefully hitting any animal.

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