Hitch the koala's Saturday night date ends in disaster
HITCH was out looking for a lady and a good time on the town on Saturday night when he was hit by a car.
The four-year-old koala, appropriately named after his late-night hitch-hiking antics, was making his way across the Cunningham Hwy at Amberley when traffic was stopped to help the love-sick and injured animal to safety.
Harvey's Towing drivers Mick Watkins and Bailey Davis were on their way out to dinner when they saw Hitch and stopped highway traffic in both directions so he could make it to safety.
"We shooed him off the road, he didn't know what he was doing or where he was going," Mr Watkins said.
"We didn't know what his go was but he was not real happy. We didn't want to see him hurt."
Ipswich Koala Protection Society president Ruth Lewis said if Mr Watkins hadn't stopped the traffic, Hitch would likely be hit and killed.
She said he had already been hit and had an injury to his shoulder which would need months of treatment and rehabilitations at RSPCA Wacol before he could be released back into the wild.
"He will be released in the same area, not near the highway but further back," she said.
"He was lucky he didn't get clobbered. If someone had not stopped, he would more than likely be dead by the time the rescuer got there."
Ms Lewis said the koala breeding season, a dry winter and land clearing were pushing koalas out of trees and onto the ground where they were in danger.
"It's breeding season so the boys are heading out to find a woman," she said.
"We've been called to 28 rescues in the last five weeks. Normally we do get a lot more around this time of year but that has been more than the last few years.
"It has also been particularly dry and the boys are out looking for girls but they don't stop to consider he highway may not be the best option.
"As there are a lot more coming to the ground, they are placed under a lot of stress and they are not getting enough nutrients from the leaves as they are dry.
"The community needs to keep in mind koalas are out looking for a beer and a good time and Ipswich is home to a large population of koalas and we need to make sure there is a future for them."
Ipswich Koala Protection Society is available 24/7 to rescue sick and injured animals.
Contact 0419 760 127 or 0412 541 611.