FOR years Zoe Shipley's morning routine was drinking a cup of coffee sitting on her back deck while watching a koala munch on leaves in the backyard.

He moved onto her two acre property around the same time large amounts of land started being cleared at nearby estates in Bellbird Park.

Zoe believes the koala was a refugee.

Zoe's family and their new neighbour lived in peace until the koala became sick.

"One day I noticed his face was all puffed up and he didn't seem to be doing so well," Zoe said.

"I called Ipswich Koala Protection Society and they came and took him to their hospital.

"Sadly he had to be euthanased this week. He had a bladder infection and it was the kindest thing to do."

Now the group that helped Zoe care for the koala have come up with a new plan to ensure koalas can be spotted and moved before development starts.

The Ipswich City Council has forked out $6,500 for Ipswich Koala Protection Society to buy a thermal imaging camera.

The group's volunteers have offered their time, for free, to be onsite using the camera to find the koalas "before anything happens to their habitat", volunteer Maureen Hall said.

"The camera will be a huge asset in identifying and helping to protect koalas in the future."

TOO CUTE: Three baby orphan koalas were the main attraction at an education and fundraising day hosted by SPR Pool and Spa at Redbank on Saturday. Pictured Zoe Shipley and Ipswich Koala Protection Society volunteer Maureen Hall.
TOO CUTE: Three baby orphan koalas were the main attraction at an education and fundraising day hosted by SPR Pool and Spa at Redbank on Saturday. Pictured Zoe Shipley and Ipswich Koala Protection Society volunteer Maureen Hall. Rob Williams

The thermal imaging, which picks up the heat of the koala's body, will ensure no koalas are missed by spotters. 

For Zoe, her experience with the koala, a unique creature that many people travel across the world to see, was so moving she decided to host a fundraising and education day.

On Saturday, between 10am and 2pm, SPR Pool and Spa became a temporary home for three orphan koalas, much to the delight of visitors.



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