Saving Simon

A recent Koala rescue has highlighted the value of the local Friends of the Koala organisation to our area and our Koala population here in Tregeagle.

A Koala was spotted in the middle of the Macadamia orchard at the Burton’s farm Mandalay late on a Friday afternoon.  The Koala was found sitting and unable to climb a tree by 7 year old Hayden who was visiting Mandalay during the school holidays.  A phone call to the Koala rescue hotline saw an immediate response.  Good instructions were given to cover the Koala with a large box.  As Ros at Friends of the Koala (FOK) explained ‘’it must be a sick Koala to not climb or try to move when approached and we had done the correct thing in calling”.  A carer was despatched and would be on route within 20 minutes.  Sure enough Rick from FOK arrived shortly after just on dark.  His quick assessment of the Koala explained carefully, especially to 7 year old Hayden, that it was a mature male and was sick and would be taken direct to the Koala Hospital at East Lismore.  Rick showed us the discolouring on the Koala’s back that was brown rather than a grey healthy coat.  The following day Simon, as he was named by Hayden (his middle name), would go the Vet.

A few days later FOK called with an update. Sadly Simon was very ill with a broken back and was starving so was euthanized.  They explained he was probably hit by a car, or some other severe impact trauma, at least 3 months ago so was struggling to move and of course feed.  If we had not found him his death would have been long and slow and he was an easy target for predators.

We wonder where Simon had been for 3 months?  Hiding somewhere?  Would someone know if they had hit a Koala? Just keep driving?  Stop and look for it?

What lessons did we learn from this experience.

  1. Call Friends of the Koala with any concerns about a Koala and let them decide the best course of action
  2. Take care on our roads and keep a look out for Koalas
  3. Keep a large box or alike to cover them if injured to keep them calm
  4. Encourage people to ‘support a Koala’ and make a small donation to Koalas in care.  Great for kids to support or as a gift pledge.


Friends of the Koala were wonderful, well organised, communicated well and especially caring with our young friend who found the Koala.

Julie Burton

26th July 2016


The Burtons are members of Tregeagle Landcare Group. Tregeagle Landcare Group recognises the work FOK undertake and supports FOK through community awareness, education and has received funding both cash and in kind from local Tregeagle Landcare members, Federal, State and Local governments, Landcare Australia and philanthropic organisations to rehabilitate and regenerate koala habitat in our local community.

Jim Kinkead

President, Tregeagle Landcare Group