Koala breeding season is the busiest time of year for Wildcare volunteer Karen Scott, with an influx of koala joeys needing her care.
Currently she is looking after three joeys, with Ruby Grace, Banjo and Delilah taking up residence in the lounge room of her Tallebudgera Valley home.
“All of the joeys I currently have in care were orphaned, so they all lost their mums. One from a car hit, and two were just found on their own with no signs of their mums,” she told myGC.
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“They are all around 10 to 12 months old and I will probably have them for another 5 or 6 months.”
The Gold Coaster has been a wildlife carer for the past 22 years, donating her time to Wildcare, who work together with the City of Gold Coast and the State Government to support koala health and welfare.
See koala joeys Ruby Grace, Banjo and Delilah up close in the video below:
While there are definite perks when it comes to caring for baby koalas (think of all the cuddles!), Ms Scott said it’s not as easy as it looks.
“It’s a lot of work. It looks cute, and they are cute but there is a lot of washing – they pee and poop a lot – and everyday going and cutting fresh gum leaves for them as well, that’s probably the most time consuming.”
Ms Scott said Gold Coasters can help do their part to keep koalas safe during breeding season by slowing down when driving.
“Be a little bit more aware when driving, and not just between dusk and dawn. At this time of the year there are a lot of koalas moving around through the day,” she said.
“If you do accidentally hit one, just stop and call the Wildcare hotline and they will send a volunteer out.
“One big thing is if you do see an animal, particularly a joey on its own, to please call straight away. We’ve had a few instances where people in the community just didn’t realise that they needed to be with their mums.”
Locals are also encouraged to keep their dogs contained at night, ensure their backyards are koala safe and to register koala sightings with the City of Gold Coast.
If you see a joey on the ground on its own, make sure to pick it up gently, wrap it in a towel or jumper and call Wildcare immediately on (07) 5527 2444. To find out more about keeping koalas safe, visit: goldcoast.qld.gov.au/environment/help-save-koalas.