Koala survives after getting mouth-to-mouth and heart massage
Firefighter had to throw the koala from a tall tree to waiting volunteers after it was hit by a car and climbed to safety
- theguardian.com, Friday 22 August 2014 05.04 BST
A wildlife rescuer has saved the life of a koala by giving it CPR after a dramatic rescue in which the animal was flung from a tall tree to its waiting rescuers.
The koala was hit by a vehicle while crossing a road in Langwarrin, in Melbourne’s southeast, on Thursday night.
It then scurried up a tree and passed out.
A motorist called Wildlife Victoria, which enlisted the help of the Country Fire Authority to get the koala down from the tree.
Video of the rescue shows a firefighter on an elevated platform throwing the koala down to colleagues, who put it in the recovery position.
A Wildlife Victoria volunteer gave the koala heart massage and then mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The fire authority team also administered oxygen.
Their efforts were successful; the koala revived and started growling at his rescuers.
He has been named Sean, after a CFA volunteer. It was initially thought the marsupial was Sir Chompsalot, a well-known local koala.
Amy Amato, spokeswoman for Wildlife Victoria, was hopeful the koala would survive.
“This isn’t something we’d do all of the time but it shows the dedication of volunteers to saving wildlife,” she said. “Koalas often flee up trees after being hit by cars or bitten by dogs. We do get a lot of calls about koalas, unfortunately.
“He is currently being rehabilitated in a wildlife shelter and will be assessed by a vet today. Fingers crossed, with the right care he’ll be OK.
“Often we get koalas when it’s too late, but he seemed to be in fairly good shape. He might just need some R&R.”
Amato said that anyone who sees a koala or other native animal in distress in Victoria should call Wildlife Victoria on 1300 094 535.