We in Tinonee are very proud and protective of our precious koala population, and we don’t take it too kindly when they are hit by cars and the driver of the car does not stop to help or check on the koala they hit.
On the way in to work on Tuesday morning, October 24, I had only just gone over the bridge at Peg Leg Creek, to find a small line of traffic stopped near Alpine Drive.
A koala was sitting in the middle of the road, and a young gentleman was trying to gently encourage it to move to the side of the road. The koala, a big male, was obviously hurt as it had blood down one side (later attributed to a heavy tick burden), and was not wanting to move.
It wasn’t long before two other men got out of their cars to assist the first person, Ben Thomas from Mondrook, who was the first to see the koala on the road. Or the first to stop, at least.
One of these men quickly called Koalas in Care in Taree. Sadly, but luckily for ‘our’ koala, Christeen McLeod of Koalas in Care was already just up the road at The Bight trying to rescue another koala who had been hit, and was able to attend to’ours’ quickly.
The young man who had put the call in for ‘our’ koala was the same young man who put the call in for the koala at The Bight – not five minutes down the road.
What is encouraging is that many cars stopped and none of the drivers showed impatience, just concern for the koala.
What is discouraging is that so many koalas are being hit by cars and the drivers of those cars do not stop to help the koalas.
It is koala mating season and koalas are on the move – while driving on our roads, please keep to the speed limits and keep your eyes open for koalas.
If you do happen to accidentally hit a koala, stop and immediately call Koalas in Care on their 24 hour rescue number 6552 2183, or 0439 406 770 if there is no answer.
If you are able, stay at the scene until Koalas in Care arrive, and keep an eye on where the koala is so they are able to check them over and, if need be, take them into care.