VETS at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are pleading with Gold Coasters to help them in their plight to treat, rehabilitate and release local koalas.
The Sanctuary recently launched their ‘Save Me’ campaign and are asking locals to donate to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation so they can continue to rescue, treat and help save the vulnerable species.
The campaign is set to spread awareness about the increase in the number of koalas that are admitted to the hospital and are infected with koala chlamydia.
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Almost 500 koalas were admitted to the Wildlife Hospital last year, compared to the 25 that were treated a decade earlier in 2008.
Eighty percent of the koalas treated last year were infected with koala chlamydia, a disease that is highly contagious and is often fatal if not treated.
Senior Veterinarian at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Dr Michael Pyne said the disease was a “huge problem”.
Dr Pyne said there the number of infected koalas was “rapidly increasing” and said it was becoming harder to keep up with the number of hospital admissions.
“Each sick koala costs approximately $6,000 to treat, rehabilitate and release back to the wild,” Dr Pyne said.
“As well as the exorbitant cost of this process, extra care has to be taken with the treatment as koala’s are very sensitive to medication.
“Every koala that comes into the hospital must have a general anaesthetic to be able to undergo a full ultra-sound, x-rays, and blood and bone marrow tests to see if they are suffering from the disease.”
Dr Pyne said without more donations, less numbers of koalas will be vaccinated, which presented the risk of the disease spreading more rapidly.
“Every dollar that’s donated will help in our efforts to save these national icons,” he said.
“We are a registered charity so any amount over $2 is tax deductible.”
The team at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital work extremely hard to treat, rehabilitate and release sick, injured or orphaned native animals of all kinds back to the wild.
They are hoping the ‘Save Me’ campaign will give locals a better understanding of what they do in particular to help koalas, and showcase how even a small donation will help.
For more information and to make a donation, click here.