Another threat to koalas is interactions with dogs.
Most of these incidents will occur in backyards and are ultimately fatal due to life-threatening internal injuries and/or infection caused from tooth puncture wounds. Immediate veterinary treatment is vital for survival.
Pet owners can greatly reduce the risk of their dog injuring or killing a koala by:
- Safely containing their dog – if possible, keep dogs indoors at night or confined on a veranda or in a garage area. Alternatively, smaller enclosures, runs or long tethers may be suitable overnight, provided there are no koala food trees in or near the run/enclosure.
- Being aware that koalas live in, or close to, many City off-leash dog parks.
- Keeping their dog under effective control – if you see a koala on the ground in a dog off-leash area, place your dog on a lead immediately until the koala climbs back up a tree and is safely out of reach. Keep the dog away from that tree to reduce stress on the koala.
- Being aware it is an offence to allow your dog off-leash in any public area other than a designated off-leash area. Walking your dog off-leash in conservation reserves is strictly prohibited.
- Installing koala friendly backyard fencing that enables koalas to easily climb and exit a backyard quickly. Alternatively, exclusion fencing to prevent koalas accessing their yard could also be an option.
- Not assuming their dog is koala friendly – when approached by an unfamiliar animal in their own backyard a dog may feel threatened and react in an unexpected manner. A small nip or bite on a koala can be fatal, even if there is no sign of external trauma or blood.
For more information visit the City of Gold Coast website.
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