Heat deadly for wildlife

Eight koalas res­cued af­ter suf­fer­ing in hot con­di­tions

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ge­or­gia Simp­son ge­or­gia.simp­[email protected] whit­sun­day­times.com.au

— Liza Sparke SHE may not have given birth to the King of Is­rael but Noelle is cer­tainly the first Noelle at Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­days.

Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­day vol­un­teer Liza Sparke said Noelle was one of eight koalas in the care of Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­days, all suf­fer­ing heat stress from ex­treme weather con­di­tions our re­gion has ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing the past week.

“We’re ab­so­lutely in­un­dated with koalas, three of which are baby girls,” she said.

Noelle was found west of Mackay, in Dysart, and, although she’s not a baby, she’s still quite young and needs a bit of TLC.

“All the koalas in care are suf­fer­ing heat stress, there’s no burns as a re­sult of the fires or any­thing like that, thank­fully,” Ms Sparke said.

A koala suf­fer­ing from heat stress will sit on the ground, do­ing noth­ing.

“It’s easy to tell, they just sit on the ground, do­ing noth­ing – moth­ers aban­don their ba­bies be­cause that’s what they do when they’re

❝ab­so­lutely We’re in­un­dated with koalas, three of which are baby girls

un­der that much stress, they just sit, and they pant.

“We know for cer­tain one of the three ba­bies we have in our care at the mo­ment was, in fact, aban­doned by its mother.”

Aside from suf­fer­ing heat ex­haus­tion, which can cost them their lives, with­out the cover and safety of be­ing high in a tree, koalas on the ground are also sus­cep­ti­ble to other dan­gers.

“Do­mes­tic an­i­mals, such as dogs, pose a threat to their safety so, if you see one just sit­ting on the ground, it’s best to call us right away,” she said.

Koalas aren’t the only an­i­mals feel­ing the heat, and Ms Sparke rec­om­mended peo­ple leave out shal­low dishes of wa­ter for thirsty wildlife.

“Birds, echid­nas, goan­nas, what­ever will come across it and have a drink.

“You only need one cen­time­tre of clean wa­ter.

“Try to leave it in a shady area so it doesn’t evap­o­rate in the heat.”

If you find a koala in dis­tress, or any other an­i­mal in trou­ble, con­tact Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­days on 4947 3389.

PHOTO: CON­TRIBUTED

FIRST: Young koala Noelle is in the care of Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­day af­ter suf­fer­ing heat stress.

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