Koala baby survives against bleak odds
THERE was little hope of saving baby koala ‘Beanie', after her mother was killed in a dog attack — but she clung to life, with the help of the veterinary staff at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
About eight months ago, Beanie's mother was admitted to the hospital after she had been attacked by two dogs and, sadly, she died with a jelly bean-sized baby Beanie in her pouch.
Remarkably, Beanie survived to be transferred into the pouch of an older expectant koala, which had positive results.
“Something wonderful came out of an awful situation and everything aligned well and fell into place,” senior vet Michael Pyne said.
“We put her with one of the older females about to give birth and we took a chance — even though the older koala hadn't done very well with her young before.
“She had a reputation of not letting her joeys get into her pouch but we had nothing to lose.
“We didn't know if she would accept Beanie but she has done very well and all of the old koalas help look after her, which is nice to see.”
Vets looked at every aspect to try and keep little Beanie alive, even though the possibility looked bleak.
“The odds against this little joey (and having everything in place) were very high,” Mr Pyne said.
“Her chances of survival were very slim, very rare.”
“When Beanie's mother was mauled by the dogs, she was gasping for breath and we couldn't revive her.
“Beanie's going along well now and she will go back into the wild in three or four months, in a nice safe area.
“At the moment, she is hanging out with koalas similar in age.”
Mr Pyne said awareness days like National Save the Koala Day, which was held last Friday, were a perfect opportunity to spread the message about koalas.
“The biggest killers [of koalas] are dogs and cars,” Mr Pyne said.
“If you see an injured or dead koala on the side of the road, call the hospital because it could have a joey.”