Staff and volunteers at the koala hospital in Port Macquarie are delighted with their newest patient.
Koala Sam is a healthy young male who was rescued by a Wauchope family.
The hospital’s clinical director, Cheyne Flanagan says Sam is a magnificent young juvenile male, who’s very clearn, with no disease.
He was found by a family in the Glenview Park estate on the fringes of Wauchope who were worried that he would get killed on the road. They captured him with a bag and put him in their laundry and all the hospital staff had to do was collect him.
Cheyne thinks there are new colonies in Wauchope, which she says is very exciting.
“Now we hear that there are koalas outside Timbertown estate so we will have to investigate that,” she said.
“We want everyone in Wauchope to look after the koala population. We think this is a new population starting to happen. Where they’ve come from, who knows, but we’ll take some samples of Sam’s DNA and send them to the Australian Museum. This is potentially a new population happening on the western side of Wauchope. There is still some really good vegetation and trees,” she said.
Sam was checked out with the hospital’s new ultra-sound machine and pronounced fit and well.
“We don’t want people to go looking for Sam, but we want people to be aware that there are koalas on the edge of Wauchope.”
The number one reason that koalas come into care is because of a bacterial disease called Chlamydiosis. It can affect their eyes and urogenital tract.
The second biggest reason for admission to the hospital is koalas being hit by cars and trucks.
“It is very distressing to admit a healthy, fit young animal who has their whole future in front of them but whose injuries are so bad they die before we can treat them or shortly after arrival,” said Cheyne.
Dog attacks are a major problem not just for koalas but for all wildlife. Sadly this is a major problem for not only koalas but all wildlife. Domestic and feral cats also kill wildlife and are quite capable of taking a joey or young koala too.
Unfortunately the koala sees all trees in their home range as part of their territory and if that means going into a backyard to have a feed then that is what the koala will do. The dog also sees the backyard as their territory and here is where conflict arises.
Often the injuries are not all that visible externally but the koala has usually suffered horrific internal injuries that are beyond treatment.