"Bouty" the koala atop a fence at Hervey Bay Golf Course. He was rescued by Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast volunteers late Thursday night. contributed

How Ambos, wildlife volunteers, and tourists saved a koala

FLASHING blue and red lights of a police car and ambulance provided a strange backdrop to a wildlife rescue on Thursday night.

The keen eyes of Hervey Bay paramedics spotted a young adult in the middle of the Boat Harbour Drive - Old Maryborough Road intersection about 9.30pm.

This possible patient had one minor difference when compared to their usual subjects: it was a koala.

A family of overseas visitors had also noticed the three-to-four- year-old koala at the roundabout, and while they tried to help usher "Bouty" off the road they were concerned for the young explorer's wellbeing.

Paramedics stopped to help, and while they succeeded in marshalling the uninjured but disoriented and stressed wildlife icon off the road, he chose to climb a fence at the Hervey Bay Golf Club.

"The lights, noise, and smells can be quite overwhelming to them as they have an extra keen and sensitive olfactory system," Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast volunteer Natalie Richardson said.

"(It is an) extremely unusual location for us to have a koala rescue called in from."

Wildlife rescue volunteers, with help from paramedics, eventually got hold of the koala, who was sent to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for a full health check.

Bouty's misadventure, while traumatic for the young traveller, was a genuine surprise.

As far as the paramedics were concerned, she said that while emergency services help whenever required, this was a case of right place, right time.

Ms Richardson said koalas were not generally spotted in Pialba.

"Either there is some still tucked away somewhere in outlying bush or he has travelled quite a way and ended up in suburbia by mistake," she said.

For all native wildlife rescue, phone Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast on 4121 3146.



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