We love all koalas but there is a very special boy that has won the hearts of wildlife carers, and now a $5,000 community grant has helped Friends of the Koala (FOK) build a permanent home for this wonderful lad.
Triumph the koala came into care when he was a joey after his mum died of disease. Triumph, who is now almost three, was born with a deformed lower leg with no foot or claw. Despite various attempts at trialling a release back into the wild, it was clear he would not survive.
Triumph has become the resident ‘education koala’ at FOK’s Koala Care Centre in Rifle Range Road, where he now has a brand spanking new house to call his own.
The funds came from Lismore City Council’s Annual Community Grants Scheme and were matched dollar for dollar by FOK.
Volunteer Project Coordinator Julie Reid at the care centre says there is not any regular state or federal funding. ‘We rely on small grants, bequests, donations and the commitment of volunteers to keep operating.’
‘Community grants like this allow us to upgrade the centre step by step. Last year for instance, we built a proper potting shed using a community grant from Council. The existing two-person potting shed was in urgent need of replacing; the new structure enables teams to use the facility to pot up koala food trees and doubles as a training facility.
Ms Reid says there is a continuous list of equipment needed for the clinic to help injured koalas brought into care.
‘It’s wonderful we have been able to build this enclosure for Triumph,’ she said. ‘Before now he has been housed in one of our rehabilitation enclosures which are smaller, so it’s amazing to have this larger enclosure complete with a huge tree he can climb high and perch in.’
FOK is always in need of more volunteers to help care for sick and injured koalas that come into care. There are a variety of volunteer roles available from collecting leaf and caring for koalas to helping in the nursery.
FOK also provides koala food trees for just $1 each to farmers and landholders who have koala habitat on their property and wish to plant more trees.
For more information or to volunteer, phone FOK on 6621 4664.
If you see a sick or injured koala, phone the 24-hour rescue hotline on 6622 1233.