Koala Rescued From Cave During Australian Floods

A “debilitated and isolated” wild koala was rescued from a cave along the Glenelg River in Australia following extensive rainfall during the week of October 24, according to a press release from the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria.

The press release said the adult male koala was spotted by a member of the public who was kayaking along the river. Local wildlife carers later rescued the stranded koala and transported him to the Werribee Open Range Zoo for urgent medical treatment.

“The koala was quickly becoming weak from starvation because he had no access to his daily eucalyptus diet while trapped in the cave,” Werribee Open Range Zoo Senior Veterinarian Dr Natalie Rourke said. “Koalas are not natural swimmers, so without intervention, it could have drowned attempting to exit the cave to find food.”

According to the press release, the koala spent five days rehabilitating in the Werribee Open Range Zoo’s RSPCA Koala Ward rehabilitation pens before he was released into a safe and dry habitat near where he was found.

Rourke said the koala may have slipped from a tree and fallen into the river during the storms before being washed up into the cave with no accessible pathway out.

According to Parks Victoria, all jetties and boat ramps along Glenelg River are closed due to the current floods and storms in the region. A minor flood warning remains in effect for the Glenelg River.

Footage sent to Storyful shows the koala’s recovery journey. Credit: Zoos Victoria & Blessings of the Bush Koala Shelter and Rescue via Storyful

Video transcript

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