Meet Our Koala Survivors From The Pechey Bushfires

Wildlife Posted Dec 15, 2020
Bushfires are having devastating impacts on our wildlife. Only now are we seeing the sheer destruction they’ve left in their wake, with wild animals emerging from the charred bushland… and they’re the lucky ones.

Meet some of the survivors of the recent bushfires in Pechey, Queensland. Percy, Penny and Jasmine are currently under veterinary care at our RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at Wacol.

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As rescue groups have been able to gain access to the affected areas. A further 11 koalas have come into our care over the weekend. 8 koalas between 8pm last night (Tues 26th November) and 8am this morning (5 from fire affected areas and 3 trauma).

Since the 1st November 117 koalas have come into RSPCA Queensland. The Wildlife Hospital is already “under siege” because of trauma season and the fires have merely escalated an already busy period.

RSPCA Qld Wacol Animal Hospital has seen 8 more koalas admitted overnight. With staff and volunteers working around clock, we are in need of supplies. Trauma season has been exacerbated by drought and fires! You can help by donating now!

Update - Wednesday 27 November.

A tough time for koalas

koala with leaves in hospital

Hot temperatures kicked off breeding season early this year, resulting in more animals on the move and unfortunately encountering issues like pets in backyards, vehicles on the road, along with habitat loss.

Caring for wildlife is a big part of what we do at RSPCA Queensland. It was around six years ago we had over 8,000 native animals admitted into our hospitals. Now we are caring for over 25,000 native animals every year and sadly, this number is on the rise.  

It was the Gold Coast Hinterland bushfires in September where things took a drastic turn for the worst. Ainsley and Rupert were just two koalas that came into our Wildlife Hospital at Wacol from the disaster.

It’s been a long road to recovery for them, but being in good hands with their wildlife carer, they’ll be ready for release very soon.

koala survivor bushfire

With survivors continuing to be found at Toowoomba, Jimna and Mt Barney, more animals are expected to be found in the coming days. The RSPCA’s Eumundi Wildlife Centre will be affected and it’s likely that Currumbin and Australia Zoo can also expect more fire victims as well.

“Sadly not all of them make it through,” said RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty. “Some are already suffering from other issues and the fire and smoke exacerbate those. It’s very sad as in some areas the scale of the casualties will never be known because of the intensity and speed of the fires.”

Healthy koalas in good body condition with a strong immune system, and have managed to survive the fires, have a better chance of making it.

Ultimately, if a koala’s health was compromised before the bushfires, their chance of survival is dire.

Max the Koala

This is what we saw with Max the koala last week. Max would have been a big koala in his day, but you only had to gently touch his fur to realise, he was all bones underneath. His fur was singed and his paws had evidence of burn injuries. He was already fighting a losing battle being in such poor health before being stuck in a fire zone too.

Sadly, no matter his efforts, Max was wasting away. Unfortunately, it was just too late to be able to rehabilitate Max. But at least he was able have pain relief, and be comfortable at the end.

koala being comforted in hospital

Our wildlife vets, nurses, wildlife carers, and Animal Ambulance drivers, and dedicated koala rescue groups do a tough job and are always on the go! You can help support them by

volunteering or donating.

We’d like to thank the generous community members who have already sewn pouches for wildlife and donated other helpful items towards our Wildlife Hospitals.

If you see an injured or sick animal in need of help, contact our 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Emma Lagoon
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