Koala attacked by dog
WHEN the call came into the emergency hotline at 8am last Wednesday, volunteers from the Friends of the Koala (FoK) swung into immediate action.
The person who took the call quickly contacted volunteer Rick Stewart, who knew if he didn’t get Carrie to a vet soon, the four-year-old koala could die.
Only hours before Carrie was walking between trees in search of food in a Lismore front yard when she was attacked by Jasper, a one-year-old kelpie-cross who was locked in the yard.
After assessing the situation Mr Stewart decided to call in a favour and within an hour three Country Energy workers were busy putting their expensive cherry picker in place to rescue Carrie from the tree where she had sought refuge.
By 10am, with Carrie safely in a cage, a flurry of mobile calls ensued as Mr Stewart rang around the three veterinary clinics with the expertise needed to treat Carrie, eventually making an appointment with Rebecca Knee at Keen Street Vet Clinic.
“Even a small puncture wound can give a koala septicaemia if we don’t get her treated within 12 hours,” Ms Knee said after she sedated Carrie.
After searching Carrie’s dense fur Ms Knee found a small tear on the pouch and noticed her left lung was ‘wheezy’, possibly the result of crushing during the attack.
After a shot of antibiotics it was back to the FoK care centre in Lismore where other volunteers had already gathered leaves to keep Carrie nourished.
However, after she was kept at the centre for observations and monitored around the clock by other volunteers, Carrie remained listless and her breathing had deteriorated.
On Friday, the four-year-old who was part of an SCU study and only released back into the wild a year ago, was rushed to the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Beerwah in Queensland.
Last night when The Northern Star contacted Mr Stewart, he said Carrie remained in intensive care.
Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass said rescues like Carrie’s only happen a few times a year, but volunteers could rescue hundreds for other reasons.
She urged anyone seeing a koala in distress, including sitting on the ground, to call the 24-hour hotline on 6622 1233.