Jay Cronan

MP wins naming rights for koala

A YOUNG koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will forever hold a special place in the heart of State Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey.

Ms Stuckey was the successful bidder for the chance to name the female joey at a corporate fundraiser earlier in the year. Money raised at the event went towards supporting the Currumbin Community Wildlife Hospital.

And what was her name for the little one, the daughter of Calyptus?

Yani Colleen - Yani is an Aboriginal word for peace, and Colleen, the Celtic name for a young female, was the name of Ms Stuckey's late mother who passed away when Ms Stuckey was a teenager.

“There is no doubt our koala population is under threat as a result of rapid urbanisation and development in south-east Queensland and I am keen to do what I can to raise awareness to protect this unique Australian marsupial,” she said.

“The recent opening of the much-needed state-of-the-art wildlife hospital has placed the spotlight on the plight of our native animals and creatures who are subjected to increasing danger with human encroachment into their shrinking habitats.

“These vulnerable animals are fighting to survive and I urge all residents to get behind the campaign by koala advocacy groups to make sure our councils and state government take steps to safeguard their habitats.”

Ms Stuckey visited the sanctuary last Friday to visit her new young marsupial friend and throw her support behind national Koala Day Celebrations at the Sanctuary that day.

She obviously has an affinity for the koala - living in a neighbourhood where they were once prevalent.

“I have noticed a reduction in the number of koalas in my own acreage neighbourhood where it was not uncommon to see them,” she said. “Most nights I hear a lonely male koala grunting out his mating call to no avail.

“This is not surprising when figures reveal a 20-fold increase of wild koalas requiring medical attention in the past eight years. Figures also reveal a huge increase of injured native animals being brought to the hospital with more than 4500 needing treatment in the past year alone.”

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