Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

July 23rd 2008
Lucky Blinky freed from Fort's crevice

Blinky stuck in a five inch wide crevice Eleven days ago a backpacker made a sad and sorry discovery near the top of Magnetic Island's Forts walk. It was a male koala that was stuck deep down in a rock crevice with no hope of getting out alone.

Fortunately the backpacker was able to contact the Environment Protection Agency's rangers on Magnetic Island and, following a four hour operation, the koala, who would have died if left there, was rescued.

"The crevice was only about five inches wide and it was quite a job to retrieve this koala as we could only just reach him," said QPWS's Temporary Ranger, who has been involved with the rescue, Ean McDonald.

EPA's Ean McDonald and Nathan Winn inspect Blinky following his rescue.

"The rescue effort involved locals, Magnetic Island Wildlife Carers, backpackers, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and local vet Alison Bee."

Once freed, the koala was transported to the Magnetic Island Veterinary Surgery where Alison Bee placed him on a drip and treated him for superficial wounds and abrasions.

On the drip

With one eye requiring veterinary attention he was named, appropriately, "Blinky Bill" and remained in the care of Alison Bee for over a week before he was fit for release.

Blinky is microchipped

Upon release Blinky was micro chipped before being placed in an Ironbark tree near where he was found.

"Blinky Bill's rescue, rehabilitation and release is a great success owing to a community with a passion for the welfare of native wildlife. Thanks again to all involved and to Alison Bee for her great commitment to animal welfare," said Ean McDonald.

Blinky safely back in the bush

Photos courtesy of EPA Magnetic Island Rangers

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Lucky Blinky freed from Fort's crevice
wendy tubman
July 24th 2008
What a great story. Congrats Geo and everyone who was involved in the rescue - especially to the backpacker for having the gumption to alert the relevant people to the problem in the first place.
July 25th 2008
I agree with Wendy that the backpacker who spotted the koala should be commended for promptly notifying the appropriate people to provide help to 'Blinky Bill'.

What a great story for the backpacker to take back home with him/her. It's uncommon for many to see a koala in the wild, let alone one that needs saving.

Bravo to all involved.
karen taylor
October 19th 2008
we are regular visitors to your beautiful island and just love your wildlife well done to all concerned in the rescue and quick thinking of the backpacker in all the years we have been comming to the island we have never seen one in the wild ive been to the koala park to see them and we treasure the photo that our friends geoff and sharon sent us of one up a tree in there garden,good luck blinky now you are free again well done all karen and garry taylor England
January 5th 2009
It was a weekend and the backpacker was unable to get through to the rangers directly so she contacted the MAGNETIC ISLAND FAUNA CARE ORGANIZATION. The MIFCO carer on call went to the location of the trapped koala, stayed with the koala for 1 1/2 hours updating the rangers by phone as to location and conditions prior to their arrival, and remained onsite giving assistance through the rescue. Again congratulations to the backpacker who did not give up until she located help.

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