Helen Darbellay releases the koala at Hardings camp ground at Purga.
Helen Darbellay releases the koala at Hardings camp ground at Purga.

Orphaned koala Harding finds his tree legs

Helen Darbellay releasing a koala at Hardy's campground at Purga on Friday. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times
Helen Darbellay releasing a koala at Hardy's campground at Purga on Friday. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times Sarah Harvey

AFTER being raised in the care of the Ipswich Koala Protection Society for over a year, orphan koala Harding has been released into the paddock he was named after.

In October 2012 an injured Harding was found still alive inside the pouch of his dead mother. He weighed just 570g.

He spent the next year living in a stripped-back bedroom filled with fake trees in the home of Ipswich Koala Protection Society secretary Helen Darbellay.

On Friday he was released into Hardings Paddock, where he was found and is named after, at Purga.

The paddock was named after the Harding family who donated it. Ms Darbellay said Harding had made himself right at home.

"I lifted him out of the cage and after he sat on my shoulder for a while he leaned towards the tree and slowly climbed up," she said.

Between leaving Ms Darbellay's house and being released into the paddock Harding spent time in the Ipswich Koala Protection Society's koala kindy.

"The kindy is to make sure they're doing all the things you would expect a koala of his age from the wild to be doing," she said.

Ipswich City Council Environment and Conservation Committee chairwoman Cr Heather Morrow said she was grateful for what the society did with orphans.

"Thanks to a lot of hard work and a lot of love Harding is back on his paws, weighs 3kg and ready to rejoin his friends in the wild," she said. "Ipswich Koala Protection Society is to be thanked deeply for their work taking care of Harding, and the care they take of all our koala friends."

Helen Darbellay releasing a koala at Hardy's campground at Purga on Friday. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times
Helen Darbellay releasing a koala at Hardy's campground at Purga on Friday. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times Sarah Harvey


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