ORPHANED: Nine-month-old Violet was sitting on her dead mother’s back in the middle of a road at Wellington Point when she was rescued. Photo: Koala Action Group
IN A bittersweet turn, a koala joey weighing one kilogram has been rescued after her mother died from being hit by a vehicle at Wellington Point.
Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said the nine-month-old orphan, who has been named Violet, was sitting on her dead mother’s back in the middle of the road when she was rescued at 11.30pm on Friday.
“A passing motorist noticed Violet running on the road towards her mother,” Ms Pointing said. “It’s highly likely she was knocked off by the impact of the vehicle that struck and killed her mother.”
KOALA JOEY: Orphan joey Violet, whose mum died after being struck by a vehicle on Main Road, Wellington Point during Save the Koala Month,
The mum is one of 12 koalas reported as struck by vehicles in the Redlands since the beginning of June, according to a Redland City Council spokeswoman.
“Of these, six were dead on arrival (two in each of June, July and August) and five were injured and taken to a wildlife hospital (one in June, two in August, two so far in September),” the spokeswoman said. “In July, one was reported but not located.”
Ms Pointing said the koala mum’s death on Main Road – during Save the Koala Month – was a stark reminder to motorists to be extra vigilant and slow down, especially while driving at night in dark areas.
“We’re in the middle of breeding season so expect to see more koalas in sometimes unusual and unexpected places,” she said.
Violet is being cared for by renowned koala researcher and carer Deidre de Villiers. She will need to be in care until early next year.
Ms Pointing said Violet’s mother was a young healthy female.
“Violet may have been her first young,” she said. “This is such a waste as she would have had many breeding years ahead of her and we can’t afford to keep losing these animals from the declining Redlands koala population.”
If you see a sick or injured koala, phone Redlands Wildlife Rescue on 3833 4031.
Ms Pointing appealed for koala sightings to be reported via koalagroup.asn.au/report-a-koala-sighting.
REPORT: Anyone who sees a koala in the rail corridor is asked to report it by calling 1800 079 303. Photo: Koala Action Group
EXTRA fencing has been installed along the Cleveland train line after four koala strikes within weeks at the start of this year’s breeding season.
Capalaba MP Don Brown said that 600 metres of exclusion fencing had been placed along high-risk sections of the line between Wellington Point and Ormiston stations.
Mr Brown said there had been nine koala deaths along the sections over the past five years.
In June Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said that Queensland Rail urgently needed to take action after the deaths of three healthy adult koalas and a joey that month.
In response to the recent announcement, Ms Pointing said it was a good start but it was unfortunate the fencing was not installed years ago.
“The line has always been a threat to the koalas,” she said. “We would like the fencing to be extended along the entire line from Thorneside to Cleveland.”
Mr Brown said plans were under way for a further 300 metres of fencing to be installed this year, adding to 2.5 kilometres of wildlife fencing along key sections of the Cleveland line.
“The fences feature a flat-top design to prevent koalas from climbing over the fencing and into the rail corridor,” Mr Brown said.
“With 48 new weekly train services being added (on the Cleveland line) in July, it’s important that we protect our koala population from the risks of strikes.”
Ms Pointing said that holes in fences along train tracks needed to be fixed to stop koalas going onto the tracks. There was also a need for safe passageways for koalas.
Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy said previously that maintenance teams inspected fences daily, with the entire Cleveland line checked about every month.
Commuters who spot fence damage are asked to report it to Queensland Rail via their app or by phoning 13 12 30.