A BABY Koala found in a chicken pen in Hawks Nest is currently in the care of the Hunter Koala Preservation Society (HKPS) in Anna Bay.
The baby was named “Louise” after the lady who found her and weighed just 356 grams.
Myall Koala and Environment Group (MKEG) member Ian Morphett was called to assist Louise who is believed to have fallen from a tree during the wild weather earlier this month.
“She was the cutest, fully-furred tiny little thing about as big as a hand,” Mr Morphett said.
“She would have been about six months old.”
Mr Morphett said the baby’s mother, who is well-known in the area as ‘Princess’ was in a tree above the chicken pen and he attempted to encourage her to retrieve the baby.
“We put the baby at the base of the tree and stood well clear, she was making small squeaks from time to time which should have attracted mum,” he said.
“After about 45 minutes, Princess was showing no signs of coming down and the baby appeared to be stressed and was shivering in the cold.”
Mr Morphett said it was also possible that Princess may have deliberately rejected the baby and following further consultation with HKPS, it was decided to put Louise into care.
With Louise tucked firmly in his jacket to keep her warm, Mr Morphett drove to meet with HKPS carer Sue Swain.
Louise required feeding every three hours night and day.
HKPS Secretary Simone Aurino said after one week in care, Louise is still in a critical condition but is doing well having gained 40 grams.
Louise will be in care for about six months and will go through a weening and dehumanisation process before being returned to Hawks Nest.
Mr Morphett said Hawks Nest’s small koala population of about 20 has been officially declared endangered by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and is the only surviving endangered koala population in NSW.
To join Myall Koala and Environment Group or make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations to Hunter Koala Preservation Society can be made at http://www.hunterkoala.com/
By Daniel SAHYOUN