Heavy toll on region's koalas

Published 5:00pm 9 December 2021

Heavy toll on region's koalas
Words by Nick Crockford

The figures tell a sad story – 57 koalas have been killed by cars, disease or dogs in this region since August 1.

Those are just the ones known to Moreton Bay Koala Rescue (MBKR) and Pine Rivers Koala Care. The real toll may be higher.

Anzac Avenue continues to be a hot spot particularly on the coastal side at Scarborough, Kippa-Ring and Rothwell, as well as through Kallangur.

So too the Bruce Highway off-ramp at Burpengary, Kurwongbah, Whiteside, the Hills District, Petrie, Narangba, North Lakes … the list goes on.

Heavy toll on region's koalas
Noah who was rescued at North lakes

Rescue sites

Koalas have also been rescued from street signs, a coffee drive through at North Lakes, pergolas and every species of tree (native and non-native) in backyards.

Others from the middle of roads and housing estates, backdoor steps of houses, stressed and injured from trees in gardens. Some survived. Some did not.

And it will get worse from now to the end of January, which is peak koala breeding season.

Sadly, less than five per cent of people stop and report a koala needing help.

Heavy toll on region's koalas

Call rescuer

“If you live in the Moreton Bay Region, the chances are you are going to see a koala in the wild at some stage,” Mike Fowler, Vice-president of Moreton Bay Koala Rescue, said.

“If you see a koala in distress, have our number in your phone and call a rescuer.

“Often we get people who ring saying they saw a koala sitting in the road a few hours ago. Three hours ago is useless.”

Koalas have good hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight and with development shrinking koala habitat, education is essential.

Film project

“I want to put together a film of what to do if people see a koala in trouble and what we can do to rescue it,” Mr Fowler said.

“Never, ever, ever, ever try to grab and hold a koala.

“What you see at a sanctuary and the reality of an angry koala are worlds apart. I’ve had a finger broken by a koala biting through welding gloves!

“Remember, all koalas act differently.”

Heavy toll on region's koalas
Rescued koala given the name of Cheddar

Million dollars

MBKR has 14 trained volunteer rescuers and 20-25 ambulance drivers to ferry a koala to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital at Beerwah or the RSPCA Animal Care Campus at Wacol.

Rescuers can be at any location in the Moreton Bay Region within 20 minutes. Volunteers with arborist skills would greatly help MBKR.

“We (MBKR) are self-funded and use what we have got. It’s just, just enough,” Mr Fowler said. “We’d love a wildlife hospital (in this region).

“Setting up one of those things would be fantastic, but you’d need millions of dollars.

Wildlife hospital

“If I won $50 million on Powerball I’d use a lot of that on setting up a wildlife hospital!”

Mike Fowler started volunteering with Meals on Wheels before joining koala rescue and completing the necessary courses.

He is also a trained wildlife carer and “wouldn’t trade doing this for all the tea in China,” he said.

24 hour rescue hotlines:

Moreton Bay Koala Rescue: 0401 080 333

Pine Rivers Koala Care: 0401 350 799

Heavy toll on region's koalas
Rosella, rescued at Ferny Hills

Rescue diary

Dec 4 - Male koala attacked by dog Narangba. Died

Nov 27 – Shayla hit by car at Deception Bay. Died.

Nov 22 – Baby Taite found by road in Bellthorpe. No sign of mum

Nov 15 – Cheddar died following dog attack

Nov 13 – Mum and baby car hit Murrumba Downs

Nov 13 - Aroha rescued at Ferny Hills with disease

Nov 11 – Injured koala rescued Clontarf Beach State School

Nov 10 – Male koala hit by car at Whiteside. Died

Nov 9 – Gauthier found on ground in Redcliffe. Died

Nov 8 – Rosella rescued at Ferny Hills

Nov 7 – Noah rescued from housing estate North Lakes. Appeared lost.

Nov 4 - Milo hit by car in Kurwongbah.

Nov 2 – Pikelet and Churrio rescued in Kippa-Ring. Displaced sub-adults

Nov 1 – Blueberry found alone in Kippa-Ring. Search on for mum

Oct 28 – Morayfield, healthy female hit by car. Died.

Oct 27 – Baby Lockett found at base of tree. No sign of mum.

Oct 22 – Milkshake found on ground in Griffin

Oct 21 – Bumble rescued Burpengary East

Oct 21 – Morsel found on ground in Kippa-Ring

Oct 18 – Koala killed in dog attack at Cashmere

Oct 17 – Dolce rescued in Kallangur after found in middle of road

Oct 16 – Lianah hit by car Burpengary off-ramp and attacked by dog. Died

Oct 14 – Mocha rescued in Morayfield after found in yard with dogs

Oct 10 – Bingo Bluey rescued Strathpine after dog attack

Oct 10 – Miss Haven, dog attack Burpengary East. Died

Oct 9 – Tripper rescued Deception Bay sitting some’s back door

Oct 3 – Charlie rescued Clontarf, disease

Oct 2 – Male rescued Ulhman Rd off ramp Bruce Highway at Burpengary

Oct 2 – Female found at coffee drive through at North Lakes

Oct 1 – Burpengary East, dog yard, koala stressed, injured. Energex help. Koala laid to rest


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