Over 200 Koalas Admitted To ‘Friends of the Koala’ Hospital During Breeding Season; Admissions Expected To Rise As Their Habitat Continues To Be Destroyed

Photos by: Friends of the Koala

More than 200 koalas were admitted to one of Australia’s busiest koala hospitals during breeding season, sadly known as trauma season.

Infections, vehicle strikes, and dog attacks are the most common reasons that koalas are admitted to the Friends of the Koala veterinary hospital near Lismore in New South Wales. The veterinary team that is currently caring for the sick and injured koalas is generously sponsored by animal welfare organization IFAW. 

Between the months of July and December, koalas are on the move finding new mates or dispersing to new territories leaving them vulnerable in particular to car strikes or domestic animal attacks. During the last trauma season, Friends of the Koala tended to 218 koalas which is more than half the hospital’s yearly koala admissions.

“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,” said vet Dr. Jodie Wakeman.

Sadly, 129 koalas had to be euthanized but 70 were able to be released back into the wild—where they belong—and to hopefully contribute to the future of the species.

“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 by ensuring injured or sick koalas are seen by our IFAW-sponsored vet team as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Wakeman.

IFAW Animal Rescue Program Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said early intervention and treatment was vital to give sick or injured koalas a second chance at life.

“Every individual koala we can rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild is critical for the future of the species,” said Rojas-Marin. “This is more important now than ever given that koalas in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory are classified as Endangered and face more threats to their survival than ever before.”

Friends of the Koala rescues more than a third of the sick, injured, and orphaned koalas that are saved in New South Whales. If you would like to help them continue their incredible work, please consider donating HERE!

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