Koala's close shave

DESTROYED: The shed after the storm.
DESTROYED: The shed after the storm.
SURVIVOR: Helen Mallam with Denise the koala.

SURVIVOR: Helen Mallam with Denise the koala.

THE weekend's foul weather caused havoc for many in the Port, but perhaps no more so than for one Medowie resident, Denise the koala.

Denise was in the care of Helen Mallam, a volunteer from the Native Animal Wildlife Rescue, at her home in the Pacific Dunes estate, when Saturday's conditions took a turn for the worse, and her recovery home was destroyed by a falling tree.

At about 7pm Ms Mallam was heading to Denise, when the already dismal weather took a fierce turn.

"I was approaching the cage to give Denise her medicine for the night and there was this tremendous sudden gust of wind, then I saw the branch break and it fell with such speed," she said.

"I ran to the cage which was absolutely smashed and tried to crawl in, I was calling out 'are you all right, where are you?', as if she was going to answer."

Ms Hallam said she finally found Denise clinging to what remained of the aviary roof, her legs dangling precariously.

Denise was taken to the vet on Monday, but was unharmed.

The close shave is just another in a long line of incidents for Denise - who was in Ms Mallam's care after she was found at the bottom of a tree, close to death.

The koala has suffered from chlamydia, conjunctivitis, the common cold, "wet bottom disease", a type of urinary tract infection, and has burnt ears, the result of a bushfire.

Ms Mallam said she did not understand how the koala had survived.


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