Adopt Me!Charlotte came to Friends of the Koala in January 2018 when she was about 8 months old. She was found all alone sitting in the middle of a busy road. Luckily, a lovely couple rescued her before she was hit by a car. She was obviously not well, so after calling our Koala Rescue Hotline, the couple took her to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.
Weighing only 1kg, Charlotte was very skinny, her fur was brown and brittle, and she was quite unresponsive. Saliva on her rump indicated she had been in an altercation with a dog, but remarkably escaped without major injuries. Vets established she had been abandoned approximately two weeks earlier and not eaten properly since then. Her mouth and belly were full of dirt, possibly due to a tummy upset from poor diet or perhaps she was just very hungry. Except for early stage Chlamydial conjunctivitis and a totally adorable overbite, she lacked any physical issues, making her a candidate for home care.
Charlotte had a good appetite while in care but was immobile, always staying perched in one spot. She didn’t like being picked up or handled as if it was painful. After another trip to the vets, it was discovered she had mild hip dysplasia, which means her hip socket doesn’t completely cover her thigh bone.
After two weeks in home care, Charlotte was paired with another koala joey called Mafeking. Without sufficient movement for any quality of life, her prognosis wasn’t good, but with Mafeking around, Charlotte started to climb! Very slowly and gingerly at first, she moved up the perch to sit with him. Then she started to do this daily, getting just close enough to sit and stare at him longingly. Slowly, she began to climb between her perches using leaf branches to support herself. Soon, besotted by Mafeking, Charlotte was able to reach him regardless of location!
During this time, at hospital visits, Charlotte was encouraged to walk. At first her legs kept collapsing under her, but day by day she was getting better. Although her gait isn’t great, she can now walk forwards and backwards with ease.
Later x-rays and testing revealed she may have fractured her pelvis when she was younger causing an inability to walk and slow recovery.
Due to her hip dysplasia, Charlotte is unable to be released, so she now calls Friends of the Koala home. Charlotte shares an enclosure with two other koalas and gets lots of love and affection from all the volunteers.