KOALA safety on the Fraser Coast is in the spotlight after a baby, weighing less than 1kg, was rescued from a nature reserve in Tinana.
Wildlife rescuer and koala advocate Natalie Richardson, fresh from a fruitless search and rescue mission in Torquay, managed to save the baby koala in the outskirts of Maryborough.
The baby koala's mother, teats still full of milk, was found dead, mauled to death by a dog, less than 200m from the tree where the baby was rescued.
Ms Richardson said the mother and baby had been seen together in the trees days earlier.
"There is no doubt that we have rescued more koalas this year than in other years," Ms Richardson said.
Ms Richardson was contacted on Christmas Day by a concerned citizen who reported the baby koala in distress.
Using binoculars, she located the baby koala and also diagnosed that it was suffering from conjunctivitis.
Using a system of flags and flagpoles, Ms Richardson was able to bring the koala to the ground and capture it.
"It was not weaned and it would have died by starvation or predation," Ms Richardson said.
Ms Richardson took the baby koala, dubbed Tristania, to her home and contacted koala activists on the Sunshine Coast who drove to Maryborough and transported the animal to the wildlife hospital at Australia Zoo, near Brisbane.