Orphaned koala joey a sad sign of Trauma Season's start

AT nine-months old, koala joey Shayne has become one of the victims of the busiest, most confronting time of the year at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital: Trauma Season.

Shayne was riding on his mother's back when she was hit by a car in a 70kmh speed zone.

She died, and while Shayne was uninjured, he was left without a mother to feed and care for him.

Even so Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Director, Dr Rosie Booth, said Shayne was one of the lucky ones.

"Shayne has no injuries as a result of the accident, instead, he's dealing with the loss of his mum and the vital life lessons he needs to learn in order to become an independent, wild koala," she said.

"It's very fortunate that we had an observant rescuer who found Shayne and brought him into us because he wouldn't have lasted even a day in the wild by himself at his young age-now he gets a second chance at life."

Shayne is now with a dedicated wildlife carer where he gets constant attention, comfort and food. Once he is of weaning age and weight, Shayne will return to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to learn essential climbing and social skills from other young koalas before being released to the wild.

During the warmer months of the year, from August to February, animals are moving around more; potentially looking for a mate or dispersing from their mother's territory. This makes them vulnerable to car strike or attacks by domestic animals.

Australia Zoo Widlife Hospital expects to see 70-89 koalas admitted to the hospital each month during the busy period, and usually has more than 100 koalas in care at any one time.

Treatment for our injured Aussie icons particularly doesn't come cheap costing upwards of $5,000 per koala due to their highly complex biology.

HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

  • Donate to the hospital at www.wildlifewarriors.org.au
  • Drive safely through wildlife populated areas and take notice of signage. Being aware in areas where wildlife are often spotted can help reduce the potential for injuries occurring.
  • Keep pets secure at night.

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