Topics:  animals, currumbin, gold coast city council, koalas, wildlife

Koala care centre approved

A KOALA rehabilitation centre has been approved for Currumbin but it's too late for the 200 or so koalas that will require care this year.

The Gold Coast City Council approved the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital's rehabilitation centre last month but it cannot be constructed in time for this year's busy season for koala injuries.

The wildlife hospital's senior veterinarian Michael Pyne said it was frustrating that the centre was not ready for the busy period between September and December.

"This is very important because we don't have anything set up for wild koalas for the long term," Mr Pyne said.

"The number of koalas coming in has increased dramatically for the past five to six years.

"It was killing me how long it was taking to get approval."

According to statistics kept by the hospital, the number of koalas requiring treatment in 2006 was below 10 while last year that number was 182.

"This time last year we had 70 since Christmas so far this year we have had 150 koalas and we haven't reached the busy period yet," he said.

Mr Pyne said one major reason for the increase was because people liked to live in the same areas that koalas liked to live.

"We have had a significant number of animals from the Tweed," he said.

Tweed Shire Council urged drivers to take more care earlier this month to protect the region's koalas, after an injured animal was found at Clothiers Creek Rd and another was discovered the previous week in North Tumbulgum.

Both animals died as the result of their injuries.



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