Peta checks out an x-ray showing the metal pin in her leg.
Peta checks out an x-ray showing the metal pin in her leg.

Peta the koala starts physiotherapy after being hit by car

AT JUST one-and-a-half years old, Peta the koala was brought to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for specialist treatment after she was hit by a car.

Peta sustained multiple fractures, including her leg, pelvis, radius and ulna after being hit by a car and is now undertaking koala physiotherapy to help heal her tiny body.

Peta had just left her mum to find her own way in the wild when she wandered onto a dirt road near Nymboida, NSW and was struck by a car - an all-too-common occurrence on Australian roads.

Once the extent of her injuries was clear, Peta was transferred to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital from Currumbin Wildlife Hospital as specialist emergency surgery was required.

Peta has been at the Wildlife Hospital for two months after having pins inserted into her left leg in surgery to stabilise the major fracture.

Now the pins have been removed, and although Peta's fracture is healing nicely, she has also begun a course of physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles in her leg.

Peta's treating Vet Dr Rosie Booth, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Director, is pleased with Peta's progress and is optimistic that she will pass her physiotherapy treatment and make a full recovery before returning to life in the wild in the near future.

"Physiotherapy for koalas is similar to physiotherapy for humans. It's all about improving mobility and function for improved quality of life with massage and manipulation, as well as a multitude of walking and climbing exercises," Dr Rosie said.

"The only difference, I'd say, is how cute she looks doing it all. She's such a beautiful koala with a very pert personality. She is very eager to get back to life in the wild and the whole team here at the Wildlife Hospital have been working very hard to get her to that point.

"It's a very rewarding moment when that day finally comes, especially for a patient such as Peta who has had such life threatening injuries."

Although Peta needs to be comfortable around people during this stage of her treatment, she will eventually transition to an outdoor area away from human contact.

This is to help her learn how to climb larger trees and disassociate from people, much like any other wild koala.
 



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