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Dog-mauled koala released back into the wild

UP AND AWAY: Shane, the koala with a limp, is back doing what koalas do best after recovering from a dog mauling.
UP AND AWAY: Shane, the koala with a limp, is back doing what koalas do best after recovering from a dog mauling.

RESIDENTS of Waterview Heights, west of Grafton, are being called on this spring to keep a lookout for Shane, a koala who is back on his home turf after a confrontation with a german shepherd in October last year.

WIRES is urging anyone who might see a very large koala with an orange tag in his left ear and a defining hind-leg limp to call the WIRES hotline, 66434055, with the date, time and location of the sighting.

Shane first came into the care of Clarence Valley WIRES on October 6 last year after tangling with the dog on Wattle Drive.

Named after the owner who promptly called WIRES then helped to get him out of his garden shrub, the koala was found to be a big 8kg, six-year-old boy with a few bite marks on his rump and a broken left hind foot from in the attack.

He was also found to have a previously broken tibia (shinbone), but otherwise was in the best of health.

Once safely in a carry basket, the incredible network that would save Shane's life raced into action.

He was rushed to the Clarence Valley vet clinic for a first crucial dose of antibiotics against infection, and by afternoon was at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary under care at the wonderful wildlife hospital that is second-to-none anywhere in the world.

By morning he was in the hands of the dedicated vets at the Irwins' Australian Wildlife Hospital, where his badly crushed toe was amputated and he was to spend the next seven months undergoing prolonged monitoring and treatment for a wound that stubbornly refused to heal.

As a large dominant male Shane could only be returned to his original home territory, and as close as possible to his pick-up site.

After a further many hours in a cramped basket returning to Grafton, a travel-weary and grumpy Shane was finally freed at dusk on May 23 into a favourite forest red gum tree on Mulligan Drive, some 400m from where he was found.

With so much dedicated work and costs involved in his safe return it can now only be hoped that Shane will now live a trouble-free, long and happy life.

However, no matter what situation he might be found in, even if he is no longer alive when found, WIRES and the hospital vets will be grateful for this information, to help continue their work.

Topics:  clarence valley, koala

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