Murray Chambers places a koala, named Mellow, into a cage after being rescued in bushland at Henderson Park in Tinana.
Murray Chambers places a koala, named Mellow, into a cage after being rescued in bushland at Henderson Park in Tinana. Robyne Cuerel

Koala rescuers say they try to release them in same tree

KOALA rescue volunteers have denied allegations they have been releasing rehabilitated koalas onto private land at Tinana that is not the marsupial's usual territory.

"We put them back as close as possible to where we found them - back into the same tree if we can," said Murray Chambers, who runs the Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue with his brother Ray.

His comments were in response to Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell, who said it had been suggested to him that the volunteers had released koalas into the undeveloped section of Henderson Park.

"The law states that they've got to go back within 5km of where they were found," Murray said.

"We put them back as close as possible to where we found them - back into the same tree if we can."

Murray and Ray travel to Maryborough on a weekly basis to carry out rescues and releases.

Most of the koalas they rescue are suffering the symptoms of chlamydia and are taken to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for treatment.

Murray estimates there would be a maximum of 50 koalas left in the Tinana area - 10 or more of them frequented Henderson Park.

"They can travel up to 5km away from their usual habitat but what we've seen is that they always come back," he said.
 



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