Ipswich Koala Protection Society secretary Helen Darbellay with the injured koala.
Ipswich Koala Protection Society secretary Helen Darbellay with the injured koala. David Nielsen

Firies help rescue wounded koala

A WOUNDED koala which scrambled up a nearby tree after being hit by a car, was yesterday rescued by Ipswich fire fighters.

The collision with a car early Wednesday morning left one of Ipswich's few remaining koalas bloody and concussed.

Ipswich Koala Protection Society secretary Helen Darbellay was woken by a phone call from another motorist about 2am.

By the time Ms Darbellay reached the site, the koala had crawled off the road and had begun to climb a nearby tree.

"When I got there he was higher up the tree than I could reach," she said.

"I couldn't do anything. When I came back at 6am, he was high up in the tree and just hanging over a branch.

"I though he was dead."

Ms Darbellay had used an RSPCA cherry picker in the past, to access koalas high in trees but the vehicle had been ruined in the flood.

"We don't normally take koalas out of trees, only when they are injured like he is.

"I contacted the fire brigade and they came out and got him out of the tree.

"They did a great job."

A firefighter scaled the truck's ladder and removed the agitated koala from the tree.

He was placed in a transportation cage to be taken to the Moggill Koala Hospital where Ms Darbellay said he would be anesthetised and examined.

"From the looks of how he's acting I think he might have some brain damage.

"Normally, a koala would be climbing around the cage trying to get out."

Fire brigade acting inspector Peter Yorrow said the rescue went more smoothly than expected considering the injuries and state of the koala.

The koala population in Ipswich had declined in recent years with only a few pockets remaining in the Collingwood Park and Redbank area.



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