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Keeping Koalas Wild

written by Mel King, researcher

Did you know the AKF predicts only 40,000 koalas remain in the wild!!

The Australian Koala Foundation predicts that 4,000 koalas die a year due to getting hit by cars and dog attacks alone!!! Add koalas dying due to disease, rising temperatures and other reasons. This is far too many.

Some Australians are not aware but koala populations are in serious decline, some scientists predict that koalas will become extinct from the wild in just 20 years.

What to do if you see a wild koala...
• DO NOT get any closer than 15 meters to the tree they are in.
• DO NOT surround the tree.
• DO NOT make noises to try to gain the koalas attention.
• DO stay still and quite in the distance and watch the koala with minimal disturbance.

Not only will the koala respect you for doing this but it will make your koala viewing experience amazing!

What can you do to help keep koalas in the wild?
We can all help to keep koalas in the wild. Here are a few simple things you can do to help.

• Drive carefully especially when driving at night, dusk and dawn, and know there is eucalypt forest near by.

• Plan ahead. If you live near a koala population and are using the roads at night, dusk or dawn leave plenty of travel time and travel slightly slower than usual, keep an eye out for crossing animals and give way.

• Keep dogs on leads when walking around eucalypt forests, even if your dog does not seem big enough to hurt a koala. Even small dogs can kill koalas. One small bite or scratch can get infected and could even become fatal. Koalas can also die just from the stress of being chased by a dog, even if they get away injury free.

• If you have koalas living in or around your yard then put your dog on a lead at night time when you go to bed. This gives any koalas passing through your property the chance to escape. Koalas can move fast but not for too long. They run out of energy a lot quicker than any dog will. 

• If putting your dog on a lead at night is not an option then try simply taking them inside at night time or build them a 'dog run'.

• Provide water. Koalas do not cope well in the heat, leaving drinking water out for them could very well mean life or death for a koala. Koalas struggle dropping their body temperature and convulse and die if they can not find a way to drop their body temperatures in the heat. 

• Be sure to make sure smaller animals have a way to get out of the water if they fall in, put a big rock or log in the water to stop small possums or gliders drowning. Koalas sometimes sit in water to cool their temperatures too. Very Clever!

Report injured or sick koalas. If a koala is sitting on the ground then it may be sick or injured. Another sign of a sick koala is if they stay in the same tree, and usually the same position, for more than 2 days in a row.

Report sick or injured koalas to 

Wild life Victoria 1300 094 535  or
Donna Cameron 0400 457 960 Local wildlife Carer/Shelter, Lara.

Both are available 24 hours 7 days a week.