What should you do if you hit a koala?
A letter to the editor from Michelle Daly, Coordinator, Koala Action, Gympie Region
KOALA breeding season has started, bringing many koala fatalities on our local roads.
We are seeking community support to raise awareness that all dead koalas on roads must be attended to and checked as soon as possible.
If you accidentally strike a koala, or see a dead koala on the road, please stop to check it (unless it is not safe for you to do so) and always call a wildlife rescue service with exact location details for them to attend.
Why do deceased animals need to be checked?
Female koalas and other marsupials such as kangaroos and wallabies may have a joey in the pouch, or a young one nearby.
The koala may have an ear tag to identify it (or it may be well known to a local resident, due to its unique markings).
Most importantly, data gathering helps information on points of impact and the causes of death and injury is essential to saving vulnerable species (the koala is on the threatened species list)
Data we provided to Transport and Main Roads on all the koala roads deaths on the Tin Can Bay Road at Kia Ora convinced them to install flashing signs to warn motorists to look out for koalas.
If these were not reported by the public, we could not have had this outcome, so please, call us about any koala road impacts you are aware of.
Sadly, two koalas died recently at the hotspot on the Mary Valley Rd near the Amamoor turnoff, and a beautiful male koala died last week on the Gympie-Woolooga Road, just past Widgee.
Wildlife-aware driving can reduce road strikes on our native animals and is safer for drivers. Please slow down from dusk until early morning, especially now in koala-breeding season.
If a koala is attacked by a dog or hit by a vehicle, and 'appears' okay, it most definitely is not - most will die from internal injury.
Have several rescue numbers in your phone, such as Gympie ANARRA Wildlife Hotline 54849111, and RSPCA's 1300ANIMAL (1300264625).
Local vets are another contact point and will freely ensure native animals get the appropriate treatment and care.
If the animal is deceased (as opposed to needing rescue) you can also call our group coordinator on 54835242, 0437549252 and we can attend.
We encourage residents to follow our Facebook page to keep up-to-date on local koala news and ways to help.
We meet monthly in Gympie and would love more members.
Coordinator, Koala Action, Gympie Region