A koala joey who fell from a tree has been reunited with his mum after local rescuers and a specialist vet team brought the duo back together.
The seven-month-old joey, Dobby, was found on the ground by a member of the public on a property in East Coraki, in northern New South Wales. His mum, Shontana, was being harassed by a male koala, which is typical during breeding season. Despite his attempts, Dobby was too small to climb the tree so began calling for his mum but unfortunately, she was too stressed to climb down for her joey.
The member of the public called the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) partners Friends of the Koala and one of their expert rescuers, Maria Matthes, travelled to the property to assess the situation.
Maria and a team of volunteers rescued Dobby and took him to Friends of the Koala where the IFAW-sponsored vet team found he had some bleeding in his abdomen from the fall.
Because of Dobby’s young age, the team knew they had to try and reunite him with his mum.
A trap was set at the base of the tree in the hopes of capturing Shontana but unfortunately, instead, the male koala came into the trap. A new trap was set the next night and Shontana was successfully captured and admitted into care at Friends of the Koala where she was reunited with her joey.
“After a few moments of hesitancy, Dobby was back in the arms of his mum,” IFAW-sponsored vet Jackie Reed said.
After several days in care, Dobby made a full recovery and was released back into the wild with his mum.
“Shontana knew she was home. She went straight up the tree, with little Dobby happily clinging to his mum’s back. After a slight pause and a look to say thank you, they went up to the top of the tree. Luckily, there was no sign of Dolby (the male koala), who has hopefully moved on in his breeding season quest,” Maria said.
IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said Shontana and Dobby’s successful release back in the wild is crucial as every individual koala counts towards the future of the species.
“It’s always a special day when we can reunite a mum and joey and release them back into the wild where they can thrive together,” she said.
“Koalas, especially males, face increased threats during breeding season, such as car collisions and dog attacks, because they tend to move around more in search of females to mate and to find new areas to call home, so it’s vital we do what we can to help protect them.”