David rescues koala again
MEMBERS of the public, including local legend David Tree, and the Leongatha Fire Brigade came to the rescue of an injured koala after it was found bleeding up a tree on Friday morning.
The koala was found on Greenwood Parade outside Leongatha Healthcare at about 11.30am.
“It was a strange call out to get. Normally it’s a cat stuck up a tree, not a koala,” First Lieutenant Scott Hillis of Leongatha CFA said.
Local wildlife rescuer David Tree from Mirboo North was on hand to see the koala to safety.
Mr Tree was plunged into the spotlight back in 2009 when footage of him giving water to a koala went viral online.
The rescue of this latest koala was an intricate affair and took over half an hour.
“It was severely distressed,” Mr Tree said.
He described holding a garbage bags above the koala’s head to encourage it to start climbing down the tree and onto a lower limb.
“It goes out on a limb and then we cut the limb as close as we can. The limb broke and the koala fell into the net, and we got it into the tub safely,” Mr Tree said.
Four people were required to stretch out the sheet that caught the koalas fall.
“I did a rescue very similar to this one before Christmas,” Mr Tree said. “It worked really well.”
A member of the public spotted the koala and reported it to wildlife rescue.
The koala was taken to a vet clinic in Traralgon.
Due to a missing incisor and another worn down incisor, the koala was emaciated and could not eat.
He also had a bone infection in his jaw.
Unfortunately, due to his condition, the koala was unable to be saved.
“It’s not about me,” Mr Tree said.
“It’s about the koala’s safety and health. I’m really passionate, but it’s a team effort. The CFA guys were a great help, couldn’t have done it without them.”
Locals were also quick to offer assistance as an electrician offered use of his ladder and a young girl was willing to dub the koala Fluffy.
When rescuing animals Mr Tree said the public should look after themselves first.
“It’s always your own safety first, that’s paramount. Try not to stress the animal out further, and make the call.
Everyone should keep a wildlife rescuers number in their phone, Wildlife Victoria is a good one. They’re the RACV of the animal world.”
► See a video of the rescue on The Star’s Facebook page.
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