Moreton Bay Koala Rescue is pleading drivers to stop if they hit an animal. It comes as worrying statistics mount, halfway through the koala breeding season.
Only 10-15 per cent of motorists in this area stop after hitting a koala until help arrives, says the rescue group.
“It’s really disappointing,” senior rescuer Mike Fowler says. “We’d like people to stay with the animal until we can get there.
“Usually we can get there within 20 minutes. We have volunteers based across the region who can respond day or night.”
Halfway through the breeding season more than 80 koalas have already died on our region’s roads this year. More than 40 of those since June.
Mike says Eatons Crossing Rd is a “disaster” with 13 koalas killed on it this year; Elizabeth Ave (Kippa-Ring/Clontarf) is “dreadful”; Anzac Ave “atrocious”; and Youngs Crossing has “a number of issues”.
“This year’s hit-by-cars figure as bad as any year,” says Mike, a rescuer for five years, “it’s traumatic for volunteers who have to go out to these situations.”
It comes as Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery says top of his wish list from the State Government is funding for a koala hospital.
“Wildlife volunteers currently have to transport koalas to the RSPCA in Wacol or Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast for emergency medical treatment, which is an untenable two-hour journey. I’m hoping for a solution,” Mayor Flannery says.
“I share the concerns of environmental groups and urge drivers to slow down. Council has been warning drivers about this for months, as koala breeding season started early this year.
“But the reality is warning signs won’t save koalas, driving responsibly will.”
Mike says rescuers would like to see speed limits reduced from 70-80km/h to 60km/h and better lighting on roads in areas of known koala activity.
“What’s 20km/h if we want to make a difference,” he says, “we know it will be hard in semi-rural areas, we know there will be a great cost.
“But do we want a great state with great wildlife or have to go to a zoo to see them?”
Moreton Bay Koala Rescue has almost daily Facebook updates of koalas being spotted, rescued and some released.
This month alone, koalas have been rescued from Deception Bay overpass; sitting on a road by cleared land in Rothwell; crossing Anzac Ave in Kippa-Ring at 3am and from an industrial shed at Clontarf.
A train driver has had to stop after seeing a koala, known to rescuers as Killian, beside tracks at Kippa-Ring, where a koala was also rescued from Hercules Rd.
Killian was rescued again this week from a telegraph pole at Kippa-Ring. It was the seventh time the koala care group had been called out to help him.
Another has been found clinging to a fence at a car repair yard. “He’s one of the lucky ones,” says Mike, “a survivor.” Not so fortunate was a koala killed on Anzac Ave, Mango Hill.
Moreton Bay Koala Rescue will have a stand at the Samford Markets on November 14, from 7am-noon.
24-hour Rescue hotlines:
Moreton Bay Koala Rescue - 0401 080 333
Pine Rivers Koala Care – 0401 350 799