Koalas in Care seeing increase in cars killing female koalas and their joeys

Miss Silk and her female joey were hit by a car near Silky Oak Drive, Tinonee. Muffee, on the right, was a pouch joey. Her mother was hit by a car near the landfill on the Bucketts Way and they both survived, but the mother was later euthanized, and Muffee died eight days later due to stress and trauma. Photos supplied
Miss Silk and her female joey were hit by a car near Silky Oak Drive, Tinonee. Muffee, on the right, was a pouch joey. Her mother was hit by a car near the landfill on the Bucketts Way and they both survived, but the mother was later euthanized, and Muffee died eight days later due to stress and trauma. Photos supplied

Every year the call goes out to motorists to stop speeding, watch out for koalas on the road, and call Koalas in Care should they hit a koala, yet every year the pleas seem to fall on deaf ears.

More shocking still is that the motorists that hit koalas are not stopping to check the koala or call for help. In the majority of cases it is people who come upon the injured animal later who call Koalas in Care.

This year has seen a higher than usual list of fatalities for local koala populations, with a worrying trend.

"Our major concern at the moment is the loss of healthy adult breeding females. Just over the last six weeks we've lost seven beautiful girls, two of which had pouch babies - both had female pouch babies so that's a second generation that we've lost," Christeen McLeod of Koalas in Care said.

The poor little things; they haven't got a hope in hell once mum's hit.

Christeen McLeod, Koalas in Care

"Obviously we've had losses over the entire breeding season but there's been a big smack on the girls in the last six weeks. And it's really quite distressing to see. Our girls have got their babies from the last breeding season. The babies are very vulnerable at this stage. They're coming out, they're spending some time on mum's tummy. Once they get around on their back - it takes them a while to get skills, so they're extremely vulnerable at this time of year.

"The poor little things; they haven't got a hope in hell once mum's hit," Christeen said.

Most of the losses have happened on the Tinonee Road and the Bucketts Way, with one fatality on Wingham Road.

These little guys, if they survive, they're not going to survive in the cold without mum.

Christeen McLeod

"Hundreds of people drove past her body lying on the road and it was one person that rang me and I went out and picked her up," Christeen said.

"The main message is, if you hit a koala - STOP. Just ring us so we can attend and do something. If it's dead we still want to about it, because if it's female we need to check pouches, we need to check if they're lactating or not, because if she's got a back baby, it could have been flung off and zoomed up a tree. These little guys, if they survive, they're not going to survive in the cold without mum," Christeen said.

Koalas in care is a 24-hour not-for-profit koala rescue and rehabilitation service. If you hit a koala or come across one in trouble, call their 24-hour line 6552 2183 or 0439 406 770. Do the koalas a favour - put the numbers in your phone now so you have them if and when you need them.

Jasmine was hit by a vehicle on the Bucketts Way. Photo supplied

Jasmine was hit by a vehicle on the Bucketts Way. Photo supplied