Help wanted in koala rescues
KOALA rescuer Sue Johnson has called on the community for volunteers.
The Crabbes Creek resident said budding koala carers would undertake training through the Lismore-based group, Friends of the Koala.
Ms Johnson said a container such as a laundry basket, occy straps and a few towels or blankets was enough equipment to join the ranks.
“When carers have been involved with quite a few rescues they can move on to using extendable poles and ladders for harder rescues,” Ms Johnson said.
She said when people first startedvolunteer rescues they were allocated a mentor.
“They will go on rescues with a more-experienced rescuer as a mentor before they do it by themselves,” Ms Johnson said.
“It can be quite dangerous, with the chance of scratching and biting, but it is very rewarding.”
With only four carers in the Tweed area currently available for rescues, Ms Johnson said they were in desperate need of volunteers.
“Even if people aren’t available for the actual rescues, we also need people to transport the rescued koalas,” she said.
Rescued koalas are transported to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the care centre in Lismore or even to Australia Zoo, depending on their condition.
Ms Johnson said she had been a volunteer carer and rescuer for the past six years and was also a member of the Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers.
She moved to the area 11 years ago after working as a zoo keeper at the Melbourne Zoo for 12 years.
Anyone interested in learning more should phone the Friends of the Koala hotline on (02) 6622 1233.
The Friends of the Koala has serviced the Northern Rivers area for more than 20 years.
Lismore’s koala care centre co-ordinator Lola Whitney said there were presently 30 koalas from across the Northern Rivers in the facility.