Lifestyle

Savage attack lands koala in hospital

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital senior veterinarian, Dr Amber Gillett dresses Peta the koala's wounds.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital senior veterinarian, Dr Amber Gillett dresses Peta the koala's wounds. Ben Beaden

PETA is lucky to be alive.

The three-year-old female koala is recovering at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital after being viciously attacked by a pack of dogs near Kallangur.

The small koala was no match for the five dogs which inflicted two broken legs, deep puncture wounds to her legs and abdomen and ripped off half of her right ear.

The Zoo's wildlife veterinarians said it was the worst case they had seen of a mauled koala, but Peta was expected to make a full recovery.

This time of year is dubbed "trauma season", when koalas are on the move looking for a mate in the breeding period.

A record 836 koalas were brought to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital between January and September.

In comparison, throughout all of 2011, 833 koalas were admitted.

Senior veterinarian Amber Gillett said koalas were most vulnerable during the breeding period of July to December.

"Often wild dogs are thought of as being the attackers. However, sadly, almost all of the dog-attack victims we see at the wildlife hospital have been attacked by dogs who have owners," Dr Gillett said.

A total of 93 koalas were admitted to the wildlife hospital last year as a direct result of domestic dog attacks.

"There is no doubt both loss of koala habitat and developing infrastructure impact severely koala populations, but when you combine the effect of disease and trauma on top of this, the outcome in certain south-east Queensland koala populations is devastating," Dr Gillett said.

She hoped sharing Peta's case would encourage pet owners to be mindful of koalas and act responsibly.

"It's as simple as being mindful of where your pets are and what they are doing," she said.

"Keeping dogs inside or tied up at night - or when owners are not around - particularly during koala breeding season, can drastically reduce the risk of attack.

"We can live side-by-side with koalas but it's up to us, the public, to be responsible for what our pets do to these animals and to do what we can to prevent harm."

If you find injured wildlife, phone the Australia Zoo on 1300 369 652 or WILVOS on 5441 6200 or the Koala Animal Rescue on 0423 618 740.

 

Zoo hospital by the numbers

  • Car strikes are the biggest reason injured wildlife is admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Domestic dog or cat attacks are second
  • More than 100 koalas may be in care at any one time
  • About 70 koalas come through the hospital every month
  • The average cost to treat an animal is $150, koalas cost $1200 each
  • 7515 native animals were admitted to the zoo hospital in 2011
  • Up to 65 animals across 11 species may be admitted to the hospital on a single day

Topics:  attack, australia zoo wildlife hospital, koala




Caught on camera: taxi driver fights off armed teen

Warwick police are hunting a young man after an attempted armed robbery tonight

Armed robber pulls knife, demands cash

Dance the night away

SWING AWAY: Warwick Salvation Army Lieutenants Lydia and Steve Spencer are excited for their night of swing.

Salvation Army set to raise the roof with 30s swing.

Steam locomotive back on the rails

STEAM POWER: A Queensland Rail steam locomotive is set to arrive in Warwick tomorrow to replace the Southern Downs Steam Railway engine that is currently being repaired.

Qld Rail loco due in Warwick tomorrow

Latest deals and offers

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles