AMOROUS koalas are placing themselves in danger as they go in search of new mates in warmer weather, wildlife rescuers say.
Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary in Barwon Heads is expecting the number of injured animals brought to its shelter to increase by at least 50 per cent between next month and December. Dogs and cars were likely to be the main causes of injuries, sanctuary owner Tehree Gordon said.
“Things are really quiet, but soon it will be spring,” she said. “When love is in the air, common sense seems to disappear when all they can think of is chasing girls.
“Young ones are also leaving their mums and they are most vulnerable because they haven’t yet got life skills.”
Her comments followed calls by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife for residents on the Bellarine and Surf Coast to plant more trees to attract native wildlife.
Foundation chief Susanna Bradshaw said home owners should consult councils to work out which eucalyptus leaves koalas would eat. Ms Gordon said local koala numbers were already dwindling, and the species would be more at threat in coming months.
“We don’t have good wildlife corridors around the outskirts of Geelong and on the coast, and so koalas have to travel large distances before they find suitable trees,” she said.