Hire-wire koala rescue

KOALA RESCUE: Essential Energy workers rescuing a young male koala in South Gundurimba Road on Monday.
KOALA RESCUE: Essential Energy workers rescuing a young male koala in South Gundurimba Road on Monday.

A YOUNG male koala was rescued from an electricity pole by Essential Energy workers on Monday afternoon.

It is not known why the young healthy koala climbed up the pole in the first place.

Lorraine Vass, president of Friends of the Koala, explained that "sometimes they go up electricity poles when they are being chased by other animals, like dogs, or sometimes they seem to mistake them for trees".

Friends of the Koala received reports of a stranded koala in South Gundurimba Road early on Monday afternoon and contacted Essential Energy for support.

Powerline workers Peter Mowle and Graham Back went up in the bucket, supported by co-worker Brett Thomson. After a couple of attempts they were able to retrieve the young koala.

He was then transferred by Friends of the Koala volunteer Lola Whitney to the koala sanctuary.

Since the young male was in good health, no further veterinary care was required, "but he was so scared that we had him under observation overnight," she said.

The koala was released the next day at the top of the ridge in the Lismore Botanical Gardens which is a well used koala corridor.

Ms Vass said this type of rescue only happen a couple of times a year.

"Each case is assessed individually. Sometimes we decide to leave the koala where it is, to come down on its own. In other occasions we ask Essential Energy to get them down", Ms Vass said.

Anyone who sees a koala in distress or anyone who hits a koala while driving is required to call Friends of the Koala on their 24/7 help number 6622 1233.

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