SET FREE: Ipswich Koala Protection Society president Ruth Lewis releases rescued koala Chesty Bond in the Denmark Hill Conservation Park; (inset) Chesty Bond settles into his new surroundings.
SET FREE: Ipswich Koala Protection Society president Ruth Lewis releases rescued koala Chesty Bond in the Denmark Hill Conservation Park; (inset) Chesty Bond settles into his new surroundings. David Nielsen

Chesty Bond happy to be back up gum trees

CHESTY Bond flexed his muscles and sped up a gum tree with glee yesterday after being returned to his natural habitat on Denmark Hill.

The six-year-old koala fell into a backyard swimming pool in early October in Churchill but a phone call from alert homeowners and a rescue by Ipswich Koala Protection Society president Ruth Lewis saved the day.

A month of recuperation for the conjunctivitis-stricken kola returned him to full health before Ms Lewis set him free yesterday.

"I got a call for a koala at Warwick Rd at Churchill, which is not abnormal in the Ipswich area, and by the time I got there he had got out of the pool and was in a palm tree," she said.

"I wrestled him out of the tree and into a cage and down to the hospital to get checked over and we discovered he had conjunctivitis. He spent some time at the Mogill koala hospital, got checked over and now he is ready to go home."

Chesty Bond, named by a vet, was "really difficult to catch".

"He wasn't really impressed with being caught and apprehended, but once he got into the koala hospital he settled down and was one of the favourites.

"The volunteers just fell in love with him. He was happy there but he was ready to go. He was pacing the floor. They just need to be back where they came from."

Chesty Bond, one of more than 300 koalas rescued by the society, is aptly named.

"He's a big boy. He is quite muscly," Ms Lewis said.



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