2015 December: Lorne (Victoria). Koalas sighted during bushfire

Koalas rescued from Lorne as wildlife rehabilitators brace for influx

Dec 27 2015


TWO koalas have been rescued from the Great Ocean Road so far, with wildlife carers expecting an inundation of injured fauna in days to come.

The animals, both female, were found in a severely dehydrated, weakened state in Lorne on Sunday and are now recovering from their ordeal at Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sanctuary director Tehree Gordon was bracing for a busy week, saying the koalas would need fluids hourly until midnight.

“We’re not sure what happened to her — when she came in, she was so weak that she couldn’t even sit up and was having little seizures,” she said.

“She has a sore back paw and is also very sore in her tummy and spine, but doing much better now.

“The other one came in today after being found in a gutter on the roadside but she’s doing much better — the traffic, weather and fires are very stressful for them.”

Ms Gordon reminded would-be rescuers to be patient as the blaze continues to burn out of control just kilometres from Lorne, saying the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is monitoring all injured wildlife in the fire zone.

“I’m told the CFA is keeping an eye out for injured animals and they are all being assessed by DELWP vets,” she said.

“Until the fire is under control, it is not safe for volunteers — we all want to get in there but we need to follow the rules and wait until it is safe.

“There’s about 500 years of combined wildlife rescue experience between all of us in the region and we are standing by, waiting until it is safe.”

The sanctuary is also taking in pets and animals belonging to people affected by the bushfires, providing complimentary care in the meantime.

Donations of towels, bandages, animal food and more can be dropped off or mailed to Taits Rd, Barwon Heads, VIC 3227. More information can be found at facebook.com/jirrahlinga