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Koala avoids nasty shock

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On the way to work one morning in early January, Iluka resident Mark Starkey was shocked to see a koala high up an electricity pole. Koalas usually prefer good quality habitat with plenty of their favourite food trees.
Thanks to Mark, the koala avoided serious injury. ‘I rang the energy company who temporarily disconnected the power and relocated the animal to nearby bushland’, he said.
Mark was just one of the residents in the areas of Iluka, Woombah and Ashby to receive a brochure from Clarence Valley Council detailing ways to help koalas by protecting native bushland, containing dogs, and ways to recognise koala food trees. The brochure also asked residents to ring and report koala sightings. Mark then contacted Council with the details of the koala.
The koala was relocated by Essential Energy staff from a power pole at the corner of Hogan and Elizabeth Streets to the relative safety of the bush across the road.
This situation came about because of a dog chasing the koala. The koala headed back into the Bundjalung National Park (to the east of this location) and to relative safety.
This is the second recorded sighting in less than a year in Iluka.
The biggest threats to koalas in our area are loss of food and shelter trees, vehicle strike and dog attacks. Even though there are 100’s of different types of Eucalypts, koalas tend to only eat one or a few species. So even a single tree in your backyard can be important to koalas and other wildlife.
There’s more information about koalas in the Clarence on our website www.clarence.nsw.gov.au (search ‘koala’).
If you’d like a copy of the brochure or if you’ve seen koalas in your area, please ring Council on 6643 0200.

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