Over fifty koalas are in danger after a loss of natural habitat has forced them to venture into Warrnambool in search for food and shelter, according to Wildlife Victoria volunteers.
Wildlife Victoria volunteer Val Carter said two koalas were recently picked up crossing Princes Highway/Raglan Parade near Selby Rd before making their way up a tree near Spotlight, making for a total of 43 call-outs this year.
Mrs Carter said she hoped Warrnambool City Council could roll out “wildlife corridors” as well as road safety signs warning drivers about the presence of koalas on the highway.
“The corridor is just a narrow strip or ‘alleyway’ of gum trees for them to get from one block to another so they don't have to go through back yards with dogs, which are probably the equal greatest threat to them along with cars,” she said.
Mrs Carter said there were roughly 50 koalas based in Warrnambool, a number which she believes has grown since new developments saw trees cut down in places like Wangoom Road.
It's heartbreaking and frustrating, especially when you're seeing the cars go by so fast.Wildlife VIctoria volunteer Val Carter
“There used to be eucaclyptus trees around, but now they've got no option but to come down and look for food, so they're coming into Warrnambool,” she said.
“They'll go into other trees to have a sleep, but eventually they need to find a native tree to be able to eat.”
She said another mother and its joey who went up a tree near APCO were hit by cars after attempting to cross Raglan Parade. Both animals, she said, suffered serious injuries and were euthanased.
“It's heartbreaking and frustrating, especially when you're seeing the cars go by so fast,” Mrs Carter said.
“Just knowing we don't the habitat we once had for them.
“And that's not just here in town, but out in the country as well.”