Koalas at Australia Zoo: My visit to the animal hospital
Check out these little beauties! Last week I was working up the Sunshine Coast and whilst there I had to fulfill 2 promises to myself I had held for a while: 1/ Go back to Australia Zoo where I haven't been since the very first Steve Irwin Day as I am a massive fan and 2/ Visit the Australia Zoo animal hospital and I cannot express how glad I am I did both!
I was so humbled and incredibly inspired by the work those folks at the animal hospital did it has stayed with me even almost a week later.
Firstly, I didn't realise there were thousands of species of gum trees and that each koala will only feed on 2 or 3 species. In other words- they don't simply eat gum trees because they are a gum tree- it has to be a particular type.
Australia Zoo animal hospital receive koalas from all over- and since gum trees are their only source of food, they actually have a team who go out to source these thousands of gum trees so they are available for those koalas who may find themselves in need of care.
Koalas maybe brought to the Zoo due to being involved in a car accident, incident with a dog or what is very common also are reproductive diseases including chlamydia leading to possible infertility. This is a serious concern for our koalas who are becoming extinct.
It is simply astounding how much work the folk at Australia Zoo animal hospital do in order to care for their animals.
Isn't she gorgeous? You know it's a she when their ears are tagged on the right. Australia Zoo do tag their koalas also to monitor their progress later when the koalas return to the wild.
Australia Zoo animal hospital koalas go through an extensive and thorough rehabilitation process before they are ready to be released back into the wild.
During their time there, koalas may have developed a dependancy on human care. Often koalas are malnourished and are fed Karicare Toddler care when they first arrive to obtain essential nutrients.
Koalas must pass through a succession of 3 different heights of trees before being released. And yes, Australia Zoo have these heights of trees all set up on the premesis. How awesome!
Also- if someone was kind enough to bring in a injured koala at the time of the release into the wild, the animal hospital will personally phone them and invite them to see their rescued animal return home! The hospital want to encourage a good relationship with the public and want to thank their good work towards rescuing all creatures great and small.
Finally, if you have found an injured animal the public are in fact welcome to bring it into the animal hospital for care. The great news is it seems public education is working: the animal hospital are seeing less injured animals being brought in during what is normally their busiest time of year.