LIVES CUT SHORT: On Sunday and Monday this week Friends of the Koala rescued eight koalas, of which only one is still alive.
LIVES CUT SHORT: On Sunday and Monday this week Friends of the Koala rescued eight koalas, of which only one is still alive.

'Distressing': 8 injured koalas found in two days

NOBODY in the Northern Rivers knows the extent of the plight of koalas like Friends of the Koala do.

So when the dedicated volunteers say things need to change, we should listen.

On Sunday and Monday eight koalas were brought in to the hospital, but just one remains alive (a juvenile pushed out of his area who will be released). Three more were brought in yesterday.

"The animals were dead when we collected them, several of them were hit by cars,” FOTK president Dr Roslyn Irwin said.

They are all sad cases to see, but seeing young female koalas was especially distressing Dr Irwin said.

"There are two small females which was particularly sad to have those ones as they were just young, incredibly healthy, and hit by cars - they would have been ones that would have bred for years.”

"They are precious as they are carry the future.”

Friends of the Koala rescue about 300 koala's a year. Last year 429 came through the centre.

"We get more than one a day on average throughout the year,” Dr Irwin said.

She said because koalas are currently on the move it therefore puts them on the ground and very much more vulnerable to be attacked by dogs or hit by cars.

One of the eight brought in had been "repeatedly attacked by a dog”.

"Looking forward that unless we change our behaviours and do things differently there is not much future for our koalas and we think that would be a tragedy,” Dr Irwin said.

"I guess for some of us who see this on a regular basis you can say 'well this is the way that it is', but everybody pays a price for it. It's incredibly hard.

"We are looking at someone who will provide counselling for our volunteers because sometimes it does get a bit too much.

"They are lovely animals and you just keep on wondering 'why do we keep on doing the things we do?'.

"I take my hat off to our volunteers, it isn't always a happy job. Every 10 we take in only two get released alive.”

These recent deaths have come a few days after Friends of the Koala released their new campaign, 'Please help us prevent a local extinction'.

"In the long term we will see them hitting the tipping point. It's very distressing to see.”



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