‘Kate’ koala was attacked by a dog on a Gympie property and is lucky to be alive. Picture: Australia Zoo
‘Kate’ koala was attacked by a dog on a Gympie property and is lucky to be alive. Picture: Australia Zoo

MAJOR THREAT: Dog mauls koala and joey in Gympie

The Gympie dog attack that hospitalised a koala called Kate and her joey last week has resulted in calls for better care to be taken by dog owners.

Kate was on the ground at a Gympie property when she was attacked by a dog last Thursday afternoon.

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The residents saw the incident and Kate was quickly transported to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Dr Rosie Booth discovered the koala had severe injuries to her torso, which were preventing her from breathing properly, so the team performed life-saving surgery.

Kate was also carrying a joey that was luckily unharmed by the attack.

They are now both recovering in the Intensive Care Unit.

Kate and her baby will stay at Australia Zoo until they are ready to return to the wild. Picture: Australia Zoo.
Kate and her baby will stay at Australia Zoo until they are ready to return to the wild. Picture: Australia Zoo.

According to the Queensland Department of Environmental Science, dogs are one of the main threats to koalas and are responsible for hospitalising about 100 koalas a year in Southeast Queensland.

On average, 75 of those 100 will die from their injuries, making Kate one lucky koala.

Michelle Daly from Koala Action Gympie Region said sadly they saw incidents like this too often in the region, as dogs were not being restrained.

“If we live in a koala area, we are their custodians and we have a responsibility to ensure they are safe from our domestic animals day and night,” Ms Daly said.

Unlike most koalas who are attacked by canines, Kate will live on to enjoy more juicy gum leaves. Picture:
Unlike most koalas who are attacked by canines, Kate will live on to enjoy more juicy gum leaves. Picture:

ANARRA wildlife carer Paula Rowlands has provided her top five tips on ways dog owners can prevent attacks on koalas:

• At night, keep your dog inside, on an enclosed veranda or kept comfortably on a lead well away from trees in the yard.

• Use a lead to prevent your dog chasing wildlife when let outside at night for the toilet.

• If your dog is barking at something in the yard it may be that wildlife are at risk.

• Train dogs from a young age not to chase wildlife and to come when they are called.

• De-sex dogs so they are less likely to roam.

Ms Daily wants to encourage the community to become more “koala aware” and believed education was the key.

“People reporting their koala sightings in council’s excellent Wildwatch Gympie helps build up pictures of where koalas remain in our region and this in turn helps educate the public that koalas are there,” she said.

“We would love to see more real estate ads include information about where koalas reside on a property they are selling.”

For more information on protecting local koalas CLICK HERE to visit the KAGR website.

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Gympie Times


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