By: Michael Fox

Injured Koala with joey in pouch

“The car in front hit her and just kept going!” Sam Oberhardt was describing the events witnessed by a motorist who had pulled over to help the female Koala hit by a car on Creek Road Wednesday morning last week.

The second driver, Sam and another driver all pulled over the help the injured Koala and waited for the Animal Ambulance sent by Daisy Hill Koala Centre.

This beautiful animal touched the hearts of these generous individuals who stopped to help. She sat passively allowing herself to be removed from the road and placed in the car boot and covered to keep warm.

Safe and warm while waiting for ambos

Unfortunately the story has a sad end. Transferred to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital the Koala was found to have a joey in her pouch but with a broken arm and shattered jaw, she and her joey had to be euthanized.

What can we learn from this?

Gillian Brownhill, Winner Pride of Australia Environmental Medal and founder of Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Eumandi, l makes an important point:

“The first car that hits an animal usually doesn’t kill, it just leaves them stunned. The second car that comes expects the animal to move off the road, then by the time they realise it is not moving it is too late and they have hit it again.”

We are all busy and the morning commute is not a time we want to be taking an animal to the vet. Gillian asks that, if we do not have time to wait, at least stop, move the injured animal off the road and call the Animal Ambulance. If you cannot wait, please note the address or some feature that will help the Ambulance find the injured animal. You can call the RSPCA Wildlife Ambulance 24/7 on 1300 ANIMAL

August to February is Koala breeding season so they will be on the move and sometimes try to cross busy roads. Swerving or stopping suddenly to avoid an animal is not recommend as that may cause a much worse accident. However, if our car does hit an animal we can all take the time to at least stop and remove the injured animal to safety. Sometimes that is enough as a stunned animal may recover by itself if is safe from being hit by another car.

Seeing Koalas on your walk to work or crossing our suburban roads is a something special. These iconic animals are returning to our suburbs. Visit Koala Tracker to report any sightings.

Daisy Hill Koala Centre Information Sheets:

Living with wildlife- Koala sick and injured

Living with wildlife- Koala planting trees

Living with wildlife- Koala misconceptions

Living with wildlife- Koala info sheet

Living with wildlife- Koala backyard