I had the sad privilege of dragging a baby koala from our half -full wintering (yes, still!) spa. The little girl was only 3kg, and is now safe with Fauna Rescue (FR).
The lady from FR was great, and I learned these things which can help heaps of koalas.
So, here they are:
1. Ice cream containers of water, left at the base of trees. NOT buckets as apparently the babies can fall off mum's back and drown
2. Logs, or thick pieces of rope from your pool / spa to enable koalas to climb out if necessary.
3. Water the ground near the base of any trees. This will cool the ground so the koalas can climb down for some relief from the heat.
4. If you, or your kids, leave ice cream containers full of water, near trees in reserves, parks etc, then change the water on a daily basis, that would be fab. FR suggested using your route to school / wherever you regularly walk.
5. Keep water, a bowl, and a rug in your car, in case you see an animal in need.
6. There is a Koala Hotline which is available 24/7. It is: 7226 0017. We didn't know the number, and ended up taking our girl to the emergency vets on Anzac Highway - well, it was 1.30am!
Apparently water, dogs, and cars are the main problems koalas face, so it's good to be aware. Our baby was placed with another five that had recently arrived. The vet said injured koalas were frequently brought in - I think it was two a week, but I hope I misheard.
We probably all know the amazingly loud grunting noise koalas make, but I had no idea how piercing a noise a frightened baby koala could make! She sounded like a puma...very surprising. We were advised to take her in as koalas can appear to be fine, but then die from aspirating the pool water.
Finally, if like me, you were brought up believing koalas get all the fluids they need from the eucalypts, well apparently not. Many SA koalas carry a genetically carried renal disease, and this can make them thirsty. Even healthy koalas will often need a drink.
Finally, 'my' koala was a little sook (albeit a soaking sook), but I was told to bear in mind a scared koala has incredibly strong teeth..and nails I'm thinking...so take care.
So please, take a few minutes to make sure your pool / spa is safe, and there is drinking water available.
If you can pass this on, that would be great.