Koalas are at high risk of vehicle collisions as they often come to the ground to move between trees. Vehicle related deaths have the second highest impact on the species after habitat clearing, with the majority of koalas killed being of breeding-age.
Hugo the koala was recently left an orphan after his mother was hit by a car and killed. A witness called the RSPCA Animal Ambulance and recalled seeing a joey with the mother, but Hugo the joey was nowhere to be seen.
The next morning, Hugo was found behind the grill of the car that hit his mother, alive against all odds. After being rescued by AWA volunteers and the RSPCA Animal Ambulance, he was quickly transported to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital and was found to have suffered no major physical injuries.
Hugo was reared for the next few months until he was able to make it on his own in the wild, and was finally released soon after. He now roams the Bayside Conservation area away from busy roads. Hugo’s story reinforces the significance of thoroughly checking the scene of an animal roadside accident to ensure all animals involved have been accounted for, to avoid further complications.
Unfortunately, many similar tales do not have the same happy ending. It is imperative that we make sure to take extra care on the roads to prevent collisions with our amazing Aussie wildlife.