Train-catching Koala Raises Alarm

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Times are tough for marsupials.

A koala was rescued in Adelaide, Australia Oct. 15 after clinging to a freight train for three hours through the Adelaide hills. Penfield terminal employees removed the traumatized creature, placed him in a box and waited for wildlife rescuers to arrive.

Mother and daughter duo Sarah Randall and Margie Maas of non-profit organization Fauna Rescue will care for the koala at their home until he is fully rehabilitated, after which they will tag his ear and release him back into the “bush.”

While this little guy’s story has a happy ending, koalas continue to be impacted by drought, wildfires and logging. Koalas are dependent upon eucalyptus trees as their only source of food, and destruction of these trees has left these marsupials traversing human landscapes like roads and train stations. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, about 80 percent of koala habitat has already been destroyed and the remaining 20 percent is largely unprotected or privately owned.

“Koalas are in serious decline suffering from the effects of habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents,” states the foundation’s website. “The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 100,000 Koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000.”

To get involved, consider adopting a koala, planting a tree and sourcing any lumber you use in home projects from renewable sources.


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