Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Koala joey with blind mum gets second chance after being rescued

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Friends of the Koala, Dunoon and District Gazette

A koala joey has been given a second chance after being rescued from the side of the road with his blind mother.

Venus and Cupid
Venus and Cupid. Photo: Friends of the Koala

The koala mother was rescued with her pouch joey on May 28 after being found disorientated on the ground by a member of the public in Woodenbong in northern New South Wales. The koalas were taken to the Friends of the Koala hospital in East Lismore where the International Fund for Animal Welfare sponsored vet team conducted thorough health checks on both koalas.

Tests revealed the adult koala, named Venus, was completely blind due to chlamydial conjunctivitis and has significant trauma to one eye. Despite losing her sight, and being about 12 years old – which is very old for a wild koala – Venus is in good condition and is carrying a healthy pouch joey named Cupid.

Cupid is about five months old and is underweight for his age. The IFAW-sponsored vets at Friends of the Koala are supplement feeding him to aid his growth and recovery. Venus is also being fed extra leaf so she can maintain her milk supply for Cupid. Her eyes are also being treated but while her swelling has reduced, she isn’t out of the woods yet.

“We are so thankful to the member of the public, who knew to call our rescue hotline. Without her sight, Venus was incredibly disorientated and vulnerable on the ground,” IFAW-sponsored superintendent vet Jackie Reed said.

“If we hadn’t rescued her, she would have died from either a dog attack, car hit or eventual starvation.”

IFAW Animal Rescue Program Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said koalas in New South Wales are already up against a lot – which is why every koala we rescue
and rehabilitate matters for the conservation of the species.

“Finding an adult koala of that age in the wild that is blind and carrying a pouch joey really is incredible,” Ms Rojas-Marin said.

“It’s so important that injured or sick koalas get immediate treatment which is why our support of the vet team and our partnership with Friends of the Koala is critical.”

Dunoon and District Gazette August September 2021

This article appeared in the Dunoon and District Gazette, August-September 2021.


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