Although there has been excellent coverage on our local koalas recently, a question yet to be addressed is, how can we help?
Julie Jennings of One Mile Beach, a carer with Port Stephens Koalas, has some practical advice.
“Teeth and claws. It’s a trick, the koalas con you into thinking they are cute (which they are) but when you are caring for them, you must remember teeth and claws,” Ms Jennings told Bay News of the Area.
Currently, there are nine koalas in care with four carers.
The volunteer organisation welcomes new carers, but there is a process to go through.
Carer training is competency based and trainee carers will have hands-on experience and training, and work in conjunction with the training manual.
Training often takes several months, for at least an hour in both mornings and afternoons.
Not everyone is suitable. If you have a dog, for instance, that would preclude you from being a carer at home.
Working is not necessarily an impediment if you are well organised.
If you are fit and have a car, you may like to train as a rescuer.
Like any other organisation, there are also behind the scenes roles to be attended to including administration, fundraising, leaf picking, cleaning and supporting carers at their home.
Ms Jennings stressed that being a carer is five percent cuddle time and 95 percent animal husbandry.
“We must, at all times, keep the koala’s best interests first and foremost as our intention, once the koala has recovered, is to return them to the wild.”
Please visit the new website www.portstephenskoalals.com.au where you can alsodonate, adopt a wild koala, or become a member.
To discuss your skills and volunteer capacity, email email@example.com or call Vice President, Ron Land on 0401727795.
Please save the 24-hour rescue number 0418 628483 for all wildlife injuries.
By Mandy ELLIS