Dimples the koala: A tale of resilience

Dimples first came into care in January 2020, she was only 8 months old when her mother was tragically killed by a car hit.  The little joey was thrown off her mother’s back, grazed and bruised but otherwise ok except that she was now an orphan. FOK was called to retrieve the little koala. Soon after, Dimples was placed in home care. During her time at home, Dimples became an international star whilst meeting and being fed by Chris Hemsworth during the filming of a National Geographic documentary, “Born Wild: The Next Generation”.

Eventually Dimples joined the kindy at FOK, there she had several joeys to deal with like, Butters the zooming koala, Ginger and Meggs the sweethearts, Dita – adopted by Ginger, Amelia, Christina and Caspian.  Dimples was endearingly known as the princess of run 2 owing to her standover antics and her stubbornness to move out of the way.  Often koalas would have to climb over her or under her to get to the other side.

Dimples was released with Meggs in October 2020 at Cawongla, a koala haven.  Throughout the next two years there were multiple sightings of her looking fantastic, munching on leaf and swinging in the breeze perched high up in her favourite eucalyptus.  Then in 2021 we got much awaited news… Dimples has a joey!! Unfortunately, it was a boy, but we still love him and he’s gorgeous. He was named Nexus. Loads of sightings and pics were frequently sent to us of them both doing well until February 2022…

Then we got the dreaded call, Dimples and her joey had been captured and brought into care at FOK. Dimples had received some type of trauma to her eye. I was quickly by her side but being the weekend, we had to find a vet! Fortunately, the amazing Dr Ray from Keen St Vets was able to see her to commence some of her treatment.

Monday morning our super vet Dr Jodie was on the job…

When Dimples’ eye was examined under anaesthetic, we could tell that the injury was very bad and were worried that the eye would have to be removed. She had a procedure to close her eyelids over the worst part of the melting ulcer and she was given many different types of medications to try and save the eye. One of the eye drops Dimples received was made by separating out the serum from her own blood. This serum contains immune complexes to help the cornea of the eye heal more quickly. These serum drops had to be administered several times a day and she was a very calm and trusting patient in care. Over many weeks, along with a lot of TLC from the koala care volunteers and veterinary staff, these eye drops seem to have done the trick and Dimples’ eye is now healing well on its own without the need for frequent medication.

Nexus, her joey, cruised through the whole ordeal and was very curious about his mum’s human carers. He is now living with the Kindy kids so that Dimples can have a break and regain some body condition before they will be released together back out at Cawongla.

By Vet staff Marley and Jodie