Moggill Koala Hospital
An orphaned koala joey received at Moggill Koala Hospital
The Moggill Koala Hospital was opened in 1991 by the Queensland Government in response to public concern about the increasing number of injured and diseased koalas found in South East Queensland.
The hospital is run by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (the department) for the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned koalas. The hospital operates 365 days of the year but is not open to the public.
Koala being treated at the Moggill Koala Hospital
Koalas are commonly admitted for treatment and/or rehabilitation for the following reasons:
- chlamydial-related diseases. Chlamydia are bacteria which cause chronic infection including conjunctivitis, cystitis, infertility and kidney failure
- traumatic injuries caused by cars and dogs
- orphaned joeys (baby koalas).
Statistics, such as cause for admission and number of deaths, are collected from all hospitalised koalas and recorded in the koala hospital’s information system, which now contains over 36 000 records. This information is used by the department to produce maps and reports which guide koala management decisions.
Koalas are received at the hospital from:
- the Daisy Hill Koala Ambulance (also operated by the department)
- volunteer koala rescuers based in the Ipswich, Somerset, Toowoomba, Warwick, Oakey and Stanthorpe regions
- Pine Rivers Koala Care volunteer rescuers
- other wildlife rescuers.
During 2011, 692 koalas came into the hospital for reasons, including:
- orphaned juvenile koalas—entrusted to a small group of experienced and highly-dedicated koala carers for hand raising
- diseased koalas
- koalas suffering from trauma from vehicle hits or dog attacks
- koalas that have been found dead.
The department’s Daisy Hill Koala Ambulance operates every day of the year during business hours, performing rescues specifically within the Koala Coast region and transporting them to the Moggill Koala Hospital or emergency veterinary surgeries. The Koala Coast is located 20 kilometres south-east of Brisbane City and covers an area of around 375 square kilometres. It encompasses portions of three local governments: the mainland portion of Redland City, the eastern portion of Logan City and the south-eastern portion of Brisbane City.
Volunteer wildlife rescue groups rescue sick, injured and orphaned koalas seven days a week, 24 hours a day. As well as the Moggill Koala Hospital, koalas in South East Queensland are treated at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, and by private veterinary surgeons. All admissions are recorded and the details forwarded to the Moggill Koala Hospital, where critical data is entered into the Koala Hospitals Information System. Sightings of healthy koalas are also recorded in the information system. All of this data helps to identify koala habitat and monitor koala populations.
Once rehabilitated, treated koalas are returned to their natural habitat at, or close to, their point of rescue. Each koala is micro-chipped so that it can be identified in the future. Around 85 per cent of koalas admitted for treatment to Moggill Koala Hospital are released back into the wild. Unlike other wildlife, rehabilitation of a single koala back into the wild can make a significant difference to the survival of the South East Queensland koala population. In 20 years of operation, more than 7000 koalas have been rehabilitated back into the wild from Moggill Koala Hospital.
The facilities at the Moggill Koala Hospital include:
- main hospital—purpose built to house koalas in cystitis and conjunctivitis wards
- injury unit
- Koala Kindy to allow hand raised orphans to learn how to climb and become independent
- main building with offices, treatment room and intensive care
- refrigerated browse storage facility to hold fresh eucalypt branches (to be fed to hospitalised koalas)
- on-site plantation of koala food trees for hospitalised koalas.
Moggill Koala Hospital staff have established a number of plantations to provide eucalypt food trees for hospitalised koalas. Some plantations have been established at local schools. Plantations have also been established by other organisations for use by Moggill Koala Hospital.
The Moggill Koala Hospital is part of the Koala Conservation Unit within the Nature Conservation Services Branch of the department. Staff working at the hospital include:
- team leader–veterinarian
- vet nurse
- plantation manager
- volunteer coordinator and database operator
- leaf cutting team of two rangers.
The leaf cutting team collects browse three days a week, every week of the year, providing seven to 10 branches daily of the best quality eucalypt leaf for each koala in the hospital.
Hospital staff work closely with staff at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre.
Koala with conjunctivitis
Volunteers are an integral part of the operation of the Moggill Koala Hospital.
The majority of koalas admitted to the hospital are rescued by volunteer wildlife groups.
A team of dedicated volunteers care for the hospitalised koalas every day. They provide daily cleaning, feeding and medicating.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Moggill Koala Hospital and are over 18 years of age, contact the volunteer coordinator on (07) 3330 4666.
Orphaned koalas are also cared for by volunteers in their own homes until they are big enough for release back into the wild. Only experienced wildlife carers who understand the demanding needs of koala joeys are entrusted with this care.
Sightings of healthy koalas in South East Queensland should be reported.
During business hours (8.00am–4.30pm) contact the Daisy Hill Koala Centre on (07) 3299 1032.
Sightings of all sick, injured, orphaned and dead koalas in South East Queensland should also be reported.
During business hours (8.00am–4.30pm) contact:
- Moggill Koala Hospital (07) 3330 4666
- Daisy Hill Koala Centre (07) 3299 1032
After hours (4.30pm–8.00am) contact:
- RSPCA 1300ANIMAL (1300 264 625)