A baby koala named Phantom could not leave his mom while she was undergoing surgery after a road accident.
Both koalas were hit by a car west of Brisbane, but, fortunately, young Phantom did not sustain any serious injuries. It was his mom, Lizzy, who needed treatment for facial trauma and a collapsed lung.
Mother and son were rushed to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, where Lizzy was given immediate medical attention. Phantom was allowed to stay by her side since the koala joey was only six-months-old.
Bewildered and saddened by his mom’s condition, Phantom kept hugging and kissing his mom. When it was Phantom’s turn to be weighed, the hospital staff placed him in a pouch to make him feel safe and secure.
And due to the hospital’s expertise and tender loving care, (they have already treated more than 58,000 native wild animals since opening in 2004), Lizzy survived the ordeal.
Weeks after the treatment, Lizzy and Phantom are now back in the wild, with the koala joey receiving in return loving hugs and care from his mom. This is good news for everyone who has expressed their concern and affection for both mother and baby koala.
Unfortunately, every year, more than 300 koalas get killed by cars in South East Queensland, according to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. More than 85% of koalas who figure in such accidents die. This is why the Australian government urges everyone to adopt wildlife-friendly driving.
Wildlife-friendly driving is “just like driving through a school zone when school gets out. It involves driving well within the speed limit (but without becoming a traffic hazard yourself), and scanning the roadside for anything that may move onto the road in front of your car.”
Authorities advise drivers who travel at night to watch out for “eye shine” that comes from animals who are crossing the road. Nocturnal animals have specially-designed retinas that glow in the dark.
Nevertheless, these animals are unfamiliar with vehicle headlights and tend to get momentarily blinded by their brightness. They may run or stand frozen in bewilderment. This is why it is always best to drive slowly in areas where wildlife live and, if there are animals on the road, to give these creatures time to get their vision adjusted and to cross safely.
This article by Doris de Luna was first published by The Animal Rescue Site.
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