An injured koala and her joey are recovering after being found in the middle of a cow paddock on a Gin Gin farm last week.
Qld Wildlife Carers and Volunteers Association Inc's Christine Wynne said she received a call from the local property owner who was alerted to the distressed animals upon hearing his cows making strange noises.
“The farmer had heard his cows and initially thought a fox had got to them, but when he went to investigate he found a koala on the ground being attacked by the cows instead,” she said.
“He managed to grab the koala and get her into a tree but noticed she was very stressed and had laboured breathing.”
Christine organised for a specialist wildlife carer to collect the koala and take her to a local vet.
“We found out that she is a much older koala who had collapsed lung from being rolled by the cows,” she said.
“She also has cataracts and surprisingly, a cute little joey in her pouch.”
Tina Janssen, koala specialist from Safe Haven in Mount Larcom, was the second wildlife carer involved in the rescue and said both mum and joey were recovering from the ordeal.
“They are both doing okay,” she said.
“Mum is not a young animal, she has cataracts in both eyes and has been in critical care after injuries to her lungs which have also impacted her heart, but each day she is improving.
“She still has baby on board in the pouch which is excellent.”
Tina said at a guess, the mother koala would be eight to ten years old and due to her blindness, would unlikely be released back into the wild.
“It's a long way off yet but after she recovers I have no doubt that will be able to live out the rest of her years safely in captivity,” she said.
Both Tina and Christine said, while koalas could be found in the Bundaberg Region, it was rare to see them.
“I have been a wildlife carer for 20 years and have only ever come across two other koalas in that time,” Christine said.
“One was in Gin Gin and another was about four months ago in Moore Park Beach.
“A male juvenile seemed to be a bit lost and ended up in a small bush near the beach.
“Apparently their is a nearby corridor that goes through to Avondale where a koala colony lives.
“We believe he might have originally come from there and was looking for a mate or for a place to establish as his own.”
Tina said koalas numbers were decreasing.
“In the 1930s there was in fact a bounty for koalas which also greatly contributed to the decline of the species,” she said.
“Along with land clearing, their large populations dwindled significantly.
“These days they can still be found in the Bundaberg Region, including in Gin Gin and Lake Monduran, but definitely not in huge numbers.”
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