Harriet and Taylor

Harriet three

(Photo credit: Robyn Stenner)


A call came for an injured mother koala and her infant. The story is a bit unusual – A couple had seen their two horses in the paddock cantering over to, and start pummeling what they thought was their dog, fortunately they were able to intervene immediately on seeing the assault, and chase the horses away. To their astonishment it was not their dog but a mother koala with an infant joey koala on her back.
The mother had been walking across the paddock to get from one tree to another, when the horses spotted them and the attack happened. The baby koala was flung off the back of the mother. She sustained a broken leg and jaw, the baby a badly broken leg.
We rushed both mother and baby nearly 237 kms to the wildlife hospital, where both mother and baby were treated by a veterinary team. We called the mother Harriett and baby Taylor. They were anesthetised, x-rayed and Harriett’s leg was able to be splinted and plastered, she also had a fractured jaw. Taylor’s leg was badly shattered and he had to have it plated and pinned.
Harriett (above) and Taylor on the operating table
Harriett and Taylor in hospital
harriet two(Photo credit: Robyn Stenner)
photo-01(Photo credit: Robyn Stenner)

Harriet4 (Photo credit: Clare Gover)
harriett (Photo credit: Robyn Stenner)

They spent a long 7 months in hospital recovering, Harriett’s jaw was holding back the release as this was a more complicated and delicate fracture, but eventually they were given the all clear and we were able to release them both.
Queensland laws require the koala is released 1 to 5 kilometres of where it was found, so we had the task of finding suitable habitat within their range. By now Taylor is a sub-adult and ready to find his own territory range.
The area is privately owned farming land, with small holdings grazing and cropping. So any remnant eucalyptus trees are all on these properties. Fragmentation is common and widespread, but koalas are somehow surviving here.
It was a longed for day, as this pair had been in care for so long, unfortunately the vets and nurses were not able to be there to see the release, but we thank them all for their dedication and care and hope they enjoy the photos.
Volunteer Dan helping release Taylor.
Now sub adult Taylor finally tastes freedom.
Harriet up high and free.

A message from us all:
Good bye Harriett and Taylor may you stay safe and free!

Published: January 11, 2016