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Byron Shire
January 27, 2022

Two mumma koalas with joeys hit on Terranora Road

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Koala joey ‘Heath’ is on the road to recovery. Photo supplied.

Tweed Council is warning motorists that koalas are on the move and is asking drivers to take extra caution through new koala zones marked on Terranora Road, following several sightings and two accidents involving the much-loved marsupials in recent weeks.

Signage and road markings have been in place for less than two weeks but unfortunately, there has already been a number of incidents within the past week.

Last Tuesday night, a female koala was hit on the road near the quarry. The motorist involved stopped to check on the female and while moving the body felt movement in the tummy.

The motorist transported the koala to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital where the male joey was removed from her pouch and is now in the care of hospital staff.

The motorist was asked by staff to name the joey which he did after his son, Heath.

Joey has a good chance of survival

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Senior Veterinarian Dr Michael Pyne said unfortunately the mother did not survive the accident but the joey has a good chance of survival in foster care. ‘From Terranora Road alone, we’ve seen three koala admissions in the past week. All of these koalas have suffered severe life-threatening injuries,’ said Dr Pyne.

‘With shorter daylight hours, it is important motorists are aware that koalas are on the move and sharing our roads as we come into the breeding season.

‘If you are involved in an accident with a koala, it’s critical you call Currumbin Wildlife Hospital immediately or a 24-hour wildlife rescue group such as Friends of the Koala and Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers.’

Second incident involving mother koalas

This is the second incident involving mother koalas moving on Terranora Road.

Very recently a beautiful healthy koala carrying a tiny joey was hit by a car right in the new koala zone marking. Friends of the Koala responded to the call.

The koala, who has been named Jamie, suffered serious injuries to her face, and needed immediate surgery. She is now out of intensive care, but had to have one eye removed, and both mother and joey are being monitored by hospital staff.

The koala zone is designed to serve as a reminder to drivers that koalas are active on these roads at all times of year, and to drive with care and heightened attention always.

Koala zone was installed in response to increased sightings

Council Senior Program Leader Biodiversity Scott Hetherington said the koala zone was installed on Terranora Road in response to an increasing number of sightings over the past two years.

‘On this stretch of Terranora Road, residents have reported 16 koalas either been killed, injured or seen crossing the road.

‘We urge all motorist to drive with extra care at all times of day with koalas on the move around Terranora,’ said Mr Hetherington.

‘It is a tragedy to record two terrible incidents this week with not just one, but two mother koalas with joeys hit.

‘Of course, koalas can appear out of nowhere, and sometimes we can’t avoid wildlife on the road, but if we all slow down, particularly in a koala zone, their chances will be so much higher.

Everyone’s responsibility to take care on the road

‘It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care on the road, not just for the koalas that live in this area but for our children, neighbours, visitors and fellow residents. It is our responsibility to make sure our children can still see koalas in the wild.’

Motorists who happen to hit a koala or other wildlife on the road are urged to take time to stop, check on the animal and call for help if needed. Friends of the Koala and Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers are on call 24 hours a day for rescues.

Put the numbers in your phone today: Friends of the Koala 02 6622 1233 and Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers 02 6672 4789.

Report all koala sightings at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/koalas.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a shameful act – any motorist who hits a Koala is driving too fast. Full stop. Drive to the conditions – that also means drive expecting to see animals on the road. How anyone would feel it appropriate to name an orphaned joey after their own child after, after negligently killing its mother – is beyond any sense. The driver should be fined for negligent driving and animal cruelty, not praised.

  2. I live in the uk. I am an avid koala lover and supporter. I have, to date, adopted 42 koalas and give to many koala charities including tree organisations… I read, most days, on social media about the tragic circumstances and deaths of so many koalas!! It’s heartbreaking!!
    When will the Australian government do something to prevent these needless and senseless and unnecessary road deaths from being such a regular occurrence??
    I appreciate that roads need to be made but while they are, why don’t the highways agencies and the councils make safety precautions for the wildlife ? It takes no time at all to install fencing along side these treacherous highways and main roads for the koalas and other wildlife that also live there.
    Please start emailing your local councils and government and ask them to make more effort to protect your country’s iconic creatures before it’s too late.
    It’s not too much to ask and in doing this, being their voice, could save so many koala lives.
    Please act now. ❤️🐨🙏

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