A koala joey has been photographed clinging to his mother’s body after she was placed under sedation following a car strike.
The two were hit on the Adelaide Hills on Tuesday night. While the baby was thrown from his mum’s back and run over by two cars, he survived.
When vet nurse Kerry Machado spoke with Yahoo News Australia on Friday morning, the young koala – who has been named Blake – was clinging to her for warmth. She described the last three days as being “a whirlwind”.
Mother koala suffers heartbreaking injuries
While Blake was badly bruised and initially in pain, his injuries were not considered to be serious. Sadly, his mother’s injuries were much worse. The crash caused her to suffer a fractured elbow, lung contusions and swelling of the brain from head trauma.
Despite her receiving around-the-clock care and specialised treatment it seemed unlikely she’d ever be well enough to release into the wild.
“On animal welfare grounds, the vets decided to pull the pin at around noon today and euthanise her. This unfortunately means poor Blake has been orphaned and needs to be hand-reared,” Kerry said.
“He’s very upset since his mum was euthanised. He’s been crying out and needs constant comfort at the moment.”
Koala receives 24-hour care from Kerry
Kerry is determined to now give Blake the comfort and support he needs to ensure he stays strong and can one day be released into the wild.
“He’ll be with me 24/7. If I’m at work, he’ll be at work. If I'm home, he’ll be at home,” she said. “He’s only 800 grams so he’s still very much dependent on mum and milk.”
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Unfortunately, as roads across Adelaide become busier, Australia’s native animals are paying the price.
Because the driver did the right thing and called wildlife rescuers after the crash, Blake now has a chance of survival.
If you hit an animal on the road then Kerry has some simple advice. “Do the right thing and make a call to rescuers straight away. The sooner they receive treatment, the better the chance of a good outcome,” she said.
Blake was rescued by the team at 1300 KOALAZ and then received veterinary treatment at SASH Adelaide's 24-hour clinic. They later received intensive treatment at the Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Centre.
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