I AM one of the volunteers at the Koala Hospital and am also one of the night rescuers.
Recently I received a call at 6am. to go to a villa where a woman had been awake since 4am hosing a dog in her next door neighbour’s yard in an endeavour to keep the dog away from a koala that was trying to climb a tree in the yard.
The occupants of the villa were away on holidays and employed someone to visit the villa and feed the dog each day but unfortunately had not left a key with any of the neighbours.
As koala rescuers we are not permitted to enter someone’s property without permission and unfortunately the dog finally killed the koala. This was very distressing for the next door neighbour and for the rescuers as it could have been avoided by simply leaving the key with a neighbour who could also give permission for the koala rescuers to enter the property.
It was also distressing for the young girl who was caring for the dog to have to remove the body from the yard.
Also, if the dog had had an accident and injured itself or become ill there would have been no way the dog could have been helped either as no one had a contact number to call.
I am writing this letter to:
1) Advise people that the Koala Hospital does have a 24-hour rescue service and they only have to call our number 6584 1522.
2) If you have a dog, and a koala enters the same yard please put your dog inside and call the Koala Hospital and we will come to move the koala to an area away from the dog.
3) If you go away and leave your dog to be looked after by visiting carers, please leave a key with a neighbour and let other neighbours know who has a key and who to contact in an emergency (preferably someone local).
PLEASE take precautions and try to protect our precious koalas from harm.
Marilyn Lees, Koala Hospital, Rescue Coordinator