Fireys rescue injured koala

GOING to new heights, Longford CFA members rescued an injured koala hit by a car on Tuesday.

Terrified by passing traffic, the koala sought refuge in a tree, climbing about six metres with obvious leg and facial injuries.

The koala was hit on the Loch Sport-Longford Rd near Johnsons Rd and firefighters retrieved the frightened animal from a tree.

Called to retrieve the koala, Our Haven Wildlife Shelter operator Theresa Matthews of Golden Beach was unable to reach the animal, and phoned the CFA.

Mrs Matthews said the koala’s instinct to get away from danger would have filled it with adrenaline and kept it going, making it appear healthier than what it was in its ability to climb the tree.

“I couldn’t just leave it there,” Mrs Matthews said, “it wouldn’t have survived on its own without medical attention”.

The shelter operator said it was not uncommon for animals to succumb to shock hours, or even days, after the initial incident, when the fight or flight instincts had worn off.

“Their hearts give out,” she said.

Once down from its perch the koala, wrapped in a blanket, was taken to a veterinary clinic where it underwent surgery on its leg.

It was later taken to the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson where it is being cared for by a volunteer specialising in koalas.

The shelter has named the koala Theresa, after Mrs Matthews.

People who come across injured or dead wildlife can let Mrs Matthews know by phoning 5146 3352 or 0400 079 337 at any time or they phone the Wildlife Victoria Emergency Response Service on 1300 094 535.

Mrs Matthews also urged people to check wallaby and kangaroo pouches.

She said animals that had already been checked for joeys were often painted with a red X.