Wildlife carer Kiara Hill with Poppy the Koala.
Wildlife carer Kiara Hill with Poppy the Koala. Nev Madsen

'Lock up your dogs': Rescuer issues plea to save koalas

THERE have been calls for dog owners to secure their dogs at night after a rise in the number of koala deaths in the region.

Toowoomba-based wildlife rescuer Kiara Hill said she had to rescue six koalas in three days last week, which was slightly more than usual.

"We're coming into trauma season for koalas, so they'll start mating," Ms Hill said.

"There is going to be a lot more movement and so many that will be killed will be preventable."

Ms Hill said several viscous dog attacks had occurred in Dalby last week.

Wildlife carer Kiara Hill. Friday, 26th Jul, 2019.
Wildlife carer Kiara Hill. Nev Madsen

"A mum and joey got attacked," she said.

"His injuries were too bad to survive, which is really sad. If they had their dogs locked up it wouldn't have happened.

"A week before we'd rescued another koala in that same street, that koala also died."

Ms Hill said dogs weren't the only dangers to koalas at the moment.

"Last year we lost a lot because of the drought," she said.

"There is also so much development going on. They are getting pushed out of their natural areas and into town. They are very territorial as well, so young males have to find new territory and they end up in town, get hit by cars and attacked by dogs.

Wildlife carer Kiara Hill with Poppy the Koala. Friday, 26th Jul, 2019.
RESCUE: Kiara Hill with Poppy the Koala. Nev Madsen

"We also lost a lot from natural causes such as chlamydia and other diseases they get."

Ms Hill said there was a number of things people could do to reduce the risks to koalas.

"Lock up your dog, even a Maltese will attack a koala," she said.

"Slow down when you're driving at night. Koalas are most active between 10pm and 2am.

"If you see a sick koala call someone, especially if they have a dirty bum, gunky eyes or are sitting on the ground. Koalas shouldn't be sitting on the ground."

Newborn Koalas at Australia Zoo: Newborn Koalas at Australia Zoo - Supplied by Storyful
Newborn Koalas at Australia Zoo: Newborn Koalas at Australia Zoo - Supplied by Storyful