RSPCA QLD and the rescue of Penny the Koala

  • Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Penny at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital

Penny's rescue - photo by Judi Gray

September 2019 saw the bushfire crisis begin in Queensland. Animal lovers within our community have been a tremendous lifeline in helping save animals.

Penny was one of the first koalas rescued from the Peachy fires. She was terrified and stuck high up in a tree. A cherry picker, alongside wildlife rescuer Judi Gray and volunteers, helped to get her down.

From the moment carers needed help to get survivors into veterinary care, the RSPCA Animal Ambulance in Toowoomba was there, driving back and forth to Brisbane.

Wildlife carer Judi and her husband alone were caring for 19 rescued koalas during the fires. Sadly only five survived, but not all is lost. Judi said, “Definitely the fact that we’ve got some young ones and breeding females and males.”

Penny received veterinary treatment at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital in Brisbane. Despite being singed, her colouring is naturally quite dark, which is unusual.

The RSPCA has two wildlife facilities operating in Queensland; a Wildlife Hospital in Wacol, Brisbane and a rehabilitation centre in Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast. As well as continuing to provide round-the-clock care to sick and injured wildlife in the hospitals, the RSPCA will continue to work with wildlife carers to assist wild animals that have recovered from their injuries but cannot be released back to their ‘home’ environment, as it no longer exists.

RSPCA Queensland CEO Darren Maier said, “Donations from our bushfire appeal will help to support the much needed expansion of our wildlife wards. We need more room and added resources to assist the ever increasing number of wildlife patients we see each year.”

Last year alone over 25,000 native animals were admitted to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospitals in Queensland. Currently, an average of 80–82 new animals are admitted for treatment every day.

Photo of Penny by Judi Gray.