Ellingham shows off his ear tag and his crook eye.
Ellingham shows off his ear tag and his crook eye.

Daphne the koala meets untimely end

DAPHNE didn't make it. The koala was clearly unwell when she was coaxed from a tree at Henderson Park.

She was found to be terminally ill, a victim of the deadly combination of disease and shrinking habitat that has the Tinana koala colony on the edge of extinction.

The humane response was euthanasia.

Natalie Richardson believes the koalas can be saved.

The articulate woman has put her life on hold to fight to save the Tinana koala colony.

She is frustrated but still hopeful - especially on days when a healthy koala returns from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital specialist koala unit and happily scampers back up a gum tree.

Calliope, the six-year-old Henderson Park koala did that on Thursday in drenching rain, spinning off Cyclone Marcia.

Suffering from cystitis and chlamydia, Calliope was rescued in December.

Calliope was treated successfully and sent home to the fragile colony that has been wracked by chlamydia, cystitis, conjunctivitis and encroaching suburbia.

Food is scarce, disease becomes more entrenched and stress levels are lethal.

After clearing in stage four of Henderson Park slashed into koala habitat, Natalie began an appeal to buy the remaining three uncleared blocks.

Earlier in the week, Natalie had made another glum note.

Ellingham, a local male Henderson Park koala brought back to the area at the end of last year after being treated at AZWH, showed up on his old patch.

His tag was clearly visible but he had the ominous sign of conjunctivitis in one eye: he will need to be caught and helped again.



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