*Warning: readers are advised that the following story and pictures are distressing.
Two koalas have been hit and killed by cars in the Port Macquarie LGA in the past 24 hours.
That brings the total number of koalas killed on our roads to 16 this breeding season alone.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is pleading with motorists to slow down and look out for koalas.
"The Port Macquarie LGA is rapidly approaching the dubious record of losing the most wild koalas to motor vehicle strikes in Australia," chairperson of Koala Conservation Australia Sue Ashton said.
"With koala breeding season well underway, wild koalas are roaming Port Macquarie on the lookout for mates.
"Both males and females are on the move and sadly, this is also the time of year the Koala Hospital admits many koalas hit by cars."
Both koalas brought to the hospital in the past 24 hours were dead when the Koala Hospital team arrived.
"It's terrible and it's upsetting," Ms Ashton said.
One koala was hit in Hindman Street, a residential area with a 50km/hr speed limit.
"The adult female sustained head injuries so bad it was hardly recognisable."
The koala had previously been admitted to the hospital where she had been vet checked and deemed healthy and fit.
The second koala was found beside the road on Gordon Street.
"This young, healthy male also sustained head injuries and was dead on arrival at the Koala Hospital."
He had been successfully treated for chlamydia a year ago and released back into the wild.
"We had spent months looking after him so that he could be released. He was of breeding age and was healthy," Ms Ashton said.
On both occasions, it was the driver who stopped and called the hospital.
"Both of the drivers were distressed and they did stop and call the hospital thinking the koalas might still be alive, but unfortunately they both had quite severe injuries."
The hospital is currently caring for a koala that was hit by a four-wheel drive vehicle at Rosemeadow.
"Campbelltown Kyana is a young mother and sadly has lost weight and is now being treated in intensive care," Ms Ashton said.
Campbelltown Kyana's joey is also suffering, with carers at the Koala Hospital having to feed her morning and night.
Koala Hospital Vet Dr Astrid Van Aggelen said drivers can play a big role in keeping koalas safe by:
"The Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA koalas are of national significance as they are so genetically diverse. Please help to keep these unique animals safe," Dr Van Aggelen said.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has put signs up along Ocean Drive alerting motorists of koalas and urging them to slow down.
The stretch of road is a known hot spot, where unfortunately, road strikes resulted in four koala deaths in June this year.
During the breeding season, which continues until January, motorists have a role to play in keeping koalas safe.
Council is also looking at moving the VMS boards to other known koala hot spot locations during the breeding season to continue reminding residents to slow down.
If you find an injured or distressed koala, call the Koala Hospital's 24-hour rescue line on 6584 1522.
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