Each year Friends of the Koala tends to over 350 sick, injured, and orphaned koalas. Between the months of July and December admissions are at their highest with the onset of peak koala breeding season, also known as trauma season.
This trauma season, our hospital admitted a total of 218 koalas. While this seems like a huge number of admissions, this total is comparable to the previous 3 seasons. September and October were our busiest months with the hospital admitting 55 and 46 cases respectively.
Friends of the Koala is licensed to rescue sick and injured koalas from five of the local government areas in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, covering a whopping 10,000+ sq km area. Koalas rescued from Lismore LGA accounted for over half of all koala admissions, followed by Byron and Kyogle LGAs.
Sadly, chlamydia remains the most common cause of rescue and euthanasia and accounted for 82 admissions. Vehicle strikes and dog attacks remain the most common trauma events accounting for 24 and 28 admissions respectively. We predict these numbers are only set to rise during subsequent seasons as remnant habitat continues to become smaller and more fragmented, forcing koalas to travel long distances on foot through urbanised areas.
While many of the cases we admitted this trauma season ended in euthanasia, as a community we do have the ability to turn this around. We know a koala’s chance of survival increases with early treatment, so we are calling on members of the public to continue to call our 24hr Rescue Hotline on 6622 1233 when they see a sick or injured koala or need advice.
We would like to say a huge thanks to those members of our community who made calls for assistance, to our wonderful IFAW sponsored vet team who treated koalas that came into care and our team of volunteers who work tirelessly staffing the Rescue Hotline, attending to rescues and caring for sick and injured koalas onsite over the trauma season – our vital work would not be possible without you!