Cashew the Koala to be released back into the wild
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 2PM: THERE'S good news regarding Cashew, the love-sick koala who found herself in a bit of a funny situation in an Ipswich carpet shop on Tuesday.
Vets at the Moggill animal hospital have assessed the 11-year-old female and given her a clean bill of health, meaning that she is likely to be released back into her native habitat on Thursday afternoon.
Ipswich Koala Protection Society president Ruth Lewis said Cashew had been microchipped about six years ago after wandering onto a suburban property at Eastern Heights.
Since then she has also been spotted at a tyre shop and a funeral parlour in West Ipswich - generally at this time of year, when koalas are entering their mating season.
Mrs Lewis says the plan is to release Cashew back into the Denmark Hill bushland reserve, where it is believed she originally came from.
The QT is hoping to be there when Cashew is released, so keep visiting qt.com.au for the latest.
EARLIER: HER name is Cashew, and she keeps looking for love in all the wrong places.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the mature female koala wandered down from her usual roost on Denmark Hill, in through the back warehouse window of CBD business owner Steve Mallet's flooring shop.
Once inside, she searched high and low for her summer love, including the garbage bins, the coffee machine and the carpet sample racks, leaving tell-tale footprints, hand smudges and even the odd dropping.
Unfortunately for Cashew, Choices Flooring wasn't harbouring any handsome male koalas, and she spent the morning sleeping alone atop a tall shelf.
Mr Mallet said he knew something was up because his alarms were going off.
"I went past at 5am and the place was all locked so I just assumed it was a possum," he said.
"I came in later and flicked the light switch and then it hit me that there was a koala right there in front of me."
Mr Mallet is not the first CBD business owner to cross paths with this love-sick koala.
After being caught and taken back to the Moggill animal hospital by members of the Ipswich Koala Protection Society, it emerged that the female koala was a serial offender.
Cashew - an 11-year-old female CBD native who is mircochipped so that the IKPS can keep track of her movements - has been caught wandering into town four times now.
IKPS president Ruth Lewis said Cashew was first caught at a residence on Whitehill Rd at Eastern Heights in 2010.
Then five years old, she was assessed as healthy and returned to Denmark Hill.
She turned up at a tyre business on Tiger St, West Ipswich a few years later, then a third time at the Len Russell Funerals parlour at West Ipswich.
"Every time she has done it, it has been about this time of year, when koalas are looking for a mate," Mrs Lewis said.
"It appears she is looking for love in the wrong places."
There's no reason Cashew couldn't find an adequate mate within the bounds of Denmark Hill bushland reserve. The IKPS has microchips on six koalas that it has released into the area, while it reports that un-chipped koalas are regularly rescued nearby.
Cashew was sedated and given a full health check after being rescued yesterday. It is hoped she will be released into her native habitat soon.
The only question is: Where will she show up next?