A tiny koala has been fitted with the smallest arm cast, repairing her broken arm after falling from a tree.
A baby koala joey has fallen off a tree in Victorian bluegum plantation, miraculously surviving with a broken arm injury. She was taken to Weribee Open Range Zoo last month.
Unfortunately, the small koala’s mother has been severely injured by the fall and had to be euthanized, leaving behind an orphaned baby joey.
Weighing less than half a kilogram and at just 150 days old, a joey of this age should still be in its mother’s pouch.
“It was really touch and go when she was brought to us” veterinary nurse Jess Rice told the Geelong Advertiser.
“She was just at the stage where she would have been starting to poke her head out of mum’s pouch. Joeys that size don’t have a good survival rate in care.”
Thanks to the devoted care of veterinarians of the Weribee zoo, which included syringe feeding marsupial milk replacement and caring for the small creature round the clock, the little baby koala is making a miraculous recovery.
When shen was brought in, the tiny fighter had an X-ray done, showing she had broken her right arm. Vets fitted a miniature finger-sized cast to aid her recovery.
Vet Jess has also managed to find little baby joey a surrogate mother, in the form of a koala stuffed animal. She said:
“Bonding and company is really important to a joey of that age. Koala joeys are often given toys to provide comfort and teach them how to hang off the fur like they would with their mother.”
Last week, the zoo released the tiny koala to an animal carer, to monitor and look after her in the last months of her recovery. The young koala is expected to be released into the wild in around one year.
Thanks to the devoted care of the veterinary services, the little joey has a second chance in life. Wishing for a speedy recovery!