Animalia wildlife rescuers believe that Sean the Koala was probably brushed by a car some time around Wednesday 20th August 2014. He was found looking a bit stunned by the side of the road by a member of the public. The person who found him picked him up and placed him in a tree in the hope that he would recover by himself. The next day, Thursday 21 August, the same member of the public went and checked on the koala and found that he had hardly moved from where he had been placed in the tree. He needed to be rescued and cared for.
Michelle Thomas, Animalia Shelter Director, was contacted via sms by Wildlife Victoria and asked to check on the koala's welfare. Although it appears cold and windy in the film of the event, Michelle says that it was quite a mild night for winter.
Presumably the koala moved up high into the tree at some point after his predicament had been reported, because his rescue required a crane and a pole with a lasso on the end.
The fire brigade provided a crane and an attempt was made to lasso the koala by the arm to bring him down on the end of a pole, which is the ideal procedure. Unfortunately the koala moved at just the wrong moment and got his neck caught in the lasso. That is the reason that, when he was lifted down to the ground on the pole, he had stopped breathing.
Michelle says that she opened the koala's mouth to see whether he was bleeding or if something was blocking his airway. She saw nothing, so she closed his mouth and breathed into his nostrils. After a while the koala grunted and soon he began to complain. The fire brigade administered oxygen to him with a mask.
Asked if she has ever given a koala mouth to mouth - or mouth to nose - before, she said she had not.
"But I did once give mouth to mouth to a dog," she added.
Asked what the difference was, she said,
"The koala's nose felt just like a dog's, except not quite so wet."
In the video we hear Michelle surmise that the koala is one she had met before, known as Sir Chompalot. She says that, on closer examination, she realised that they had not met before. Hence the name Sean.
"He is a young male koala, about three years old."
How is he taking to being cared for at the Animalia wildlife rescue premises?
"He is happy as Larry. Koalas are pretty relaxed as long as they have a tree to sit in and plenty of eucalyptus leaves to eat."
It has been mentioned that Sean needs an operation. Was he injured?
"He was not seriously injured," replies Michele. "He was a bit bruised. However the operation is for a cateract on one eye."
Due to the overwhelming response that they have had from around the world with the rescue of Sean the koala, Animalia has created a Facebook page for him to give regular updates on how he is going.
If you don't have a Facebook account you can always visit the Animalia website at Animalia
Animalia is a not for profit organisation which relies on donations from the public to continue this important work in the rescue,care and rehabilitation of our native wildlife. You can donate to WESTPAC BANK BSB 033138 Account 434072
I am personally a great fan of Michelle Thomas and her wildlife work. Years ago I rescued a possum with a broken back and she made a home visit to look at him and advise me. Her willingness to go out of her way, as well as her knowledge and kindness, impressed me from that day. I am amazed that she still seems to be so available to wildlife. Michelle is one of the busiest people I have ever met. She is also active in a local drama group, which puts on plays. She was the 2007 Starzone walk of fame recipient for significant contribution to the community in the field of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation and childrens community theatre. In 2009 she was awarded the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship for her contribution during the wildlife recovery effort of the black saturday fires in the Marysville Taggerty Triangle region and ongoing dedication to wildlife conservation rescue and rehabilitation. In 2012 Frankston City Council recognised her for her community contribution. And that's just what humans think of her. Imagine what the wildlife would say if they could!