A familiar face returns

 “Over Christmas it’s just been meltdown. We’ve had a huge amount of animals in over the past few weeks.”

In comparison to 2011, 40 more koalas were admitted in the past year, Mrs Flanagan said.

“It’s just going to get worse and numbers are dropping on the coast. We need to maintain all the trees and not take trees out – really it’s death by 1000 cuts.”

Five koalas, were admitted in the space of just a few hours yesterday morning.

Horton Clarence, was hit by a car on Lord Street.

The micro-chipped 12-year-old female koala was first found in front of a newsagency in 2006 and since then has been to the hospital six times.

Another koala suffered from Chlamydia, and one young female was attacked by dogs.

Two other unwell little ones were also examined.

The huge influx of animals was keeping volunteers on their toes, and Mrs Flanagan asked the public to be patient when waiting for assistance.

Although habitat loss is the main cause for concern, warm and very dry conditions have been very detrimental to the health of native wildlife.

Heat stress presented a very real threat to wildlife, she said, with reports of kookaburras falling out of trees and animals left immobile all too common.

“The trees are very dehydrated and the wildlife are really copping it,” she said. “FAWNA [For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid] are getting calls for kangaroos that are really lethargic and lying around because they’re so dehydrated – there’s just no moisture in the grass.

“A lot of animals are starting to really fall apart in this heat.”

Habitat loss through human intervention and interference is the biggest threat to protecting our Australian wildlife, Mrs Flanagan said.

“Our phones are manned 24 hours a day,” Mrs Flanagan said. “If a koala is injured anywhere, we will come – even if it’s two o’clock in the morning.”

Under the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act (POCTA) it is a prosecutable offence to hit an animal in a motor vehicle and leave it lying on the road without reporting the situation and providing details to authorities.

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