Koala Grant to the Rescue

Koalas are much loved residents of the Adelaide Hills and like all of us they sometimes get sick or injured and need rescuing which, thanks to a Community Development Grant, is now much easier.

Not for profit volunteer organisation 1300KOALAZ who rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured or orphaned koalas, applied for and received one of the 2021 community grants and can now respond to more calls for help from Adelaide Hills community members who come across koalas in distress.

Co-founder of 1300KOALAZ, Cheryl Zampin, says the funds were used to purchase essential koala rescue equipment including poles, pole bags, carry cases and strong light torches that can light the way during night rescues.

"Having rescuers with lighter and longer poles we are now able to retrieve sick or injured koalas from a higher range without the need to call on essential services such as CFS and MFS," Cheryl says.

"The lighter poles are also safer for our rescuers and prevent injuries and the torch will allow our rescuers to be able to view the entire rescue area in the Adelaide Hills where street lighting is minimised because of the landscape.'

The grant also gives 1300KOALAZ the ability to spend monetary donations in other essential service areas such as the rehabilitation of koalas and the growing and giving away of native plants to people with bush fire affected properties.

"Our four local resident volunteers carried out 93 koala rescues in the Adelaide Hills Council area in the last 12 months and having the correct equipment ensures every one of those rescues is completed in a professional, safe and efficient manner.

"This grant has also supported us to work with the Adelaide Hills Council on a trial virtual fencing project which alerts motorists when an animal is crossing the road with the intention of preventing unnecessary wildlife deaths," Cheryl says.

"Whether it is ensuring volunteers have the equipment they need or supporting proactive projects like the virtual fencing the outcomes of this grant are good for our rescuers, the local community and for the koalas.

"I would certainly encourage other community groups to apply for the grants because they provide the opportunity for more groups to successful and therefore contribute back to the community.

"The grant was easy to apply for and the guidelines on the Council website assisted us greatly as we moved through the online form.

"The community and the Council are always so supportive of the work we do, and we thank each and every one of them for their support of our organisation so we can help as many koalas as possible," Cheryl says.

If you find a sick, injured, orphaned or distressed koala please call 1300KOALAZ for help or advice.

The AHC annual grants program provides funding to assist local non-profit community groups and organisations establish and undertake innovative projects or activities that build community connections, boost the function and sustainability of community and sporting facilities or just generally make a positive contribution to our community.

Due to the upcoming local government election the community grants program is being held from 1-30 June with decisions on recipients announced in August.

A rescue koala
Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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