Everyone knows it’s a dog’s job to keep unwanted visitors out of the yard, but sometimes it’s a visitor you don’t expect.
When Michelle Hobden ducked back to her Douglas Street home to pick up her daughter’s thongs, she heard the family dogs barking and tried to quieten them because her husband was on night shift.
When they continued barking, she went around to the backyard to investigate and discovered a koala had taken up residence.
“I was a little panicked as the dogs were trying to get at it, the kids were amazed and I was scared of the koala,” Michelle said.
Michelle said the koala was on their back fence, near a gum tree, and jumped from the fence to a support pole of the trampoline’s safety net.
She tried to coax the koala down with gum leaves and water but the dogs spooked the koala and she went back up the pole and then headed across the trampoline.
“I rang everyone I could think of to come help rescue her. I eventually had to wake my partner to move the dogs away and Martine [Moran from WIRES] came to the house and rescued her,” Michelle said.
Martine said the female koala was in her care and was eating well.
“It had a sore eye and I took it over to the Tamworth Veterinary Clinic and they’ve done a chlamydia test on her but the results haven’t come back yet,” she said.
“They did an ultrasound of her bladder and her bladder was bit thickened and she’s very, very thirsty, which is another indicator of chlamydia.
“There was no cyst visible when they did the ultrasound and her eye has improved.”
The koala started a round of antibiotics on Friday which Martine said would help even if her chlamydia test results turned out to be negative.
“She’s healthy in every form except for the thickened bladder,” she said.
“Just because they’ve got a sore eye, it doesn’t mean they’ve got chlamydia and they’re going to be put down.”
Martine said it was a good idea for people to look koalas over when they see them to check if they have any indicators of chlamydia such as a dirty bottom or issues with their eyes.
The volunteer said if a koala has chlamydia, it has a better chance of survival if it’s brought in early for treatment.
“That’s a good thing if you can pick them up fast…Much greater chance of a positive result,” she said.
Martine said a number of koalas in care would soon be ready for release but she was waiting until the weather cooled down because the high heat stresses koalas.
The WIRES volunteer said it was a good idea for the community to put out water for animals during the summer season.