News

Eye on new life

by
May 11, 2017

Recovery: Kim's eye was stitched shut and she was given antibiotics.

Healing: Kim wore koala mittens and an eyepatch while healing.

Progress: Kim's injury continued to heal.

New home: She was released to Quinn Island last Wednesday, pictured sitting in the left branches.

Koala Kim is revelling in her new lease on life in a new home after suffering a terrible eye injury.

Kim was released on Quinn Island last Wednesday after spending a few weeks in recovery with Kylee Donkers and James Leonard at Koonawonga Dutch Thunder Wildlife’s sanctuary.

Kim was discovered on February 7 by a family out walking, but by the time Ms Donkers arrived to pick her up, she had climbed into a tree and couln’t be reached.

‘‘That afternoon one of our licensed foster carers, Danny, took to the tree and caught her,’’ Ms Donkers said.

‘‘She was transported to our shelter and given pain relief and started on antibiotics. She was fully assessed and the following day and we consulted with vets at Port Macquarie koala hospital regarding the best course of treatment for her.

‘‘We decided a course of antibiotics then we would remove and stitch her injured eye shut. A huge thanks to the Finley vets who helped out with Kim’s operation.’’

After more antibiotics, a patch and some koala mittens, it was a game of wait and see.

The patch was removed a week later and the eye (or where the eye had been) looked great, and lovely Kim’s fur was starting to grow back, Ms Donkers said.

‘‘A week on and we removed the stitches and Kim was freed from her mitten and finally able to have a scratch and climb again,’’ she said.

Kim was released last Wednesday after recovering well, and will be closely monitored at her spot — a safe distance from roads.

Mr Leonard and Ms Donkers reminded people who use Quinn Island that it is a nature and wildlife reserve and dogs must be kept on leads at all times, to help protect animals like Kim.

People visiting the island are urged to keep a lookout for Kim the one-eyed koala.

If you are concerned for her or any other wildlife please phone Kylee and James on thier 24-hour emergency wildlife rescue number, 0417560910.

The pair thanked Katamatite Dance Group which kindly donated to the shelter; the money donated has gone straight to paying off part of Kim’s vet and medication bills.

●Donations towards Kim’s treatment or to assist any of the animals can be made to: Dutch Thunder Wildlife Shelter at the Bendigo Bank Cobram or via the website at www.koonawongawildliferescue.vpweb.com.au

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