Tiny survivor brings ray of hope to show crowd
HOPE springs eternal.
That is what they say and in the case of Hope the koala there is plenty of hope that she will be returned to the wild and will thrive.
Hope was the star of the Ipswich Show with numerous parents and children gathering around to gaze at the 10-month-old koala that had been rescued from Toogoolawah.
Ipswich Koala Protection Society vice-president Marilyn Spletter said Hope was doing well after a traumatic start to her young life.
Hope was found recently in the centre of Toogoolawah on the ground.
It was suspected that her mother had died and a tree had fallen, so she was by herself for several days.
She was 900 grams when found.
“If you think of a margarine container, she would have fitted in there,” Ms Spletter said.
“But she has doubled her weight and a little bit extra since when I got her.
“When we find them on the ground we suspect it is because there has been a tree fall.
“We started her on antibiotics and she has been doing beautifully.”
Now Hope has been weaned off her bottle, and while timid, she is going great guns.
Hope will be put back in the wild after her koala pre-school experience, within a five kilometre radius of where she was found.
The cuddly koala was at the show to educate people and remind them that there still are koalas in the area.
“People don’t think that there are still koalas around,” Ms Spletter said.
“I went to a rescue a couple of weeks ago in Goodna and there was one on the road.
“Each time we take a koala away from Goodna we think it must be the last one.
“But she was eight years old.”
Take one look at Hope and she looks like the classic Australian koala.
“Everyone sees her and thinks she is stuffed,” Ms Spletter grinned.
“It will take her eight weeks to wean her off her bottle and then she has two weeks before going to koala kindergarten where they have no human contact.
“That is when their wild instincts come back into them.
“While you are weaning them off bottles you are weaning them off cuddles as well.”