Forced out of their homes, Koalas now face being trampled by horses, cows and other livestock.
Many koalas and their joeys are dying or are being severely injured by cattle attacks across New South Wales.
One such joey, Fraser, lost his mother after she was trampled by a cow last year. Fraser escaped with a broken arm and leg in the attack.
Fraser was brought to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital on the Gold Coast, Queensland for treatment. Henow lives with carer Susannah Keogh in Northern NSW. The extent of the joey’s injuries were so severe that Keogh didn’t believe the joey would survive.
Every time we were just about to give up on him, he'd fight back, and he's come through absolutely magnificently, he was only about 600 grams when he came in, and he's 4 kilograms now — he's a miracle.
Koalas being attacked or trampled by cattle is a common occurrence in Northern New South Wales with as many as eight koalas killed in the past 15 months. Keogh believes cattle see Koalas as a threat, confusing the koala for a dog that is after their calves.
It is usually fatal for the koalas because as you can imagine the cow is significantly larger than a koala,
Michael Pyne, Senior Veterinarian from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, is surprised by the regularity of cattle attacks on koalas. Though disease is still the biggest killer of koalas in New South Wales with 60 per cent of hospital admissions due to illness.
Koalas are spending more time on the ground due to land clearing and development, putting them at more risk of stampede and attack.
Clare Gover, Koala rescuer from Darling Downs in Queensland, reports seeing dozens of injured koalas by cattle and horses annually. She explains that the injuries suffered by koalas are often quite horrendous from multiple fractures and broken limbs to internal bleeding and damage to organs.
Unfortunately, being trampled is just one kind of threat koalas face when their habitats are cleared away (read more here). Dr Martin Taylor from the World Wildlife Fund explains:
This is just one example of what koalas face because their forest homes have been bulldozed and broken up — we have no idea of the scale of this,
Cattle and land owners are encouraged to report any koala injury or fatality.
Header: Koala and joey, shutterstock