17 May 2017
At the end of 2016, DJ the koala joey was rescued by an officer of the Queensland Police Service, and brought to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital after being struck by a car. Following major surgery, hours of physiotherapy and plenty of tender loving care DJ has completed her final stage of rehabilitation and returned to life in the wild.
When first admitted to the Wildlife Hospital it was discovered that DJ had fractured both bones in her forearm and suffered from internal bleeding, she was rushed into surgery to repair a lacerated liver. Following this, DJ spent several weeks in the Wildlife Hospital's mammals Intensive Care Unit, where she received weekly splint changes and round the clock care. DJ was a very calm natured koala despite the trauma she had suffered and quickly found a soft spot in the hearts of all those that helped her through treatment.
After recovering from critical care, DJ began physiotherapy with the team. This meant that DJ spent ample time stretching her muscles and practising her climbing skills in the Wildlife Hospital's plantation area, a vast area filled with a varied size of trees and branches for koalas who are near release to explore under vet observation.
Every year around 600-800 koalas are admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for injuries from car hits, domestic animal attacks and disease. The severity of their injuries and the complexity of their diseases mean that patients just like DJ, often require extensive medical treatment and months of care to be able to return to their life in the wild. What makes the work worthwhile is having the privilege of seeing patients being released back where they belong and knowing that a positive difference has been made.
Spending almost six months in care at the Wildlife Hospital, DJ's story is a testament to the dedication our Wildlife Warriors have to saving our native wildlife. It's thanks to caring people like the Queensland Police Service and members of the public who continue to support our cause, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital can continue to help save Australia's unique and diverse wildlife.
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