Koalas' plight hits home
I recently ventured out with a koala ambulance. What an eye opener! Like most, I figured our koala population was rare, no so out there.
Monday night: A sick female -- a sweetie who came down out of her tree and over to us. She must have known.
Tuesday night: Three males hit by cars -- two dead, one badly hurt. It tugs at your heart.
Call outs to sick koalas Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Friday night: Dog attack -- hand-raised orphan are lucky to survive. No so lucky was my 2am call from Chandler. Mauled by dogs, the young male koala lay in its cage, to sore to sit.
This trend continues week after week.
People say they don't see koalas. Well, I did, and not in good circumstances.
It is sad to see these cute animals lying dead on the road. They are not so small you can't see them. So why are they being hit? Are we speeding, not concentrating, not aware? What?
These ambulance volunteers are a caring bunch. It has to be draining for them to see this night after night.
One week and I have a new respect for the plight of our koalas. Seeing what happens first-hand was a shock, which leads me to this letter, hoping all those who read it will realise we live with this beautiful animal.
So please, a few helpful hints: Slow down! Tie up your dogs at night. (They get used to the routine). I've seen what dogs do. It's horrendous and heartbreaking.
In a few weeks it will be my turn again. I hope I won't need to be called out too often. And I hope everyone will do their bit to help us. Be aware!
- Helen Binstead, Alexandra Hills
Bayside Bulletin, Tuesday, December 7, 1999.
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