Lizzie makes friends for life at Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens
  • Tuesday 14 February 2017
Koala release at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens

Love was in the air at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, with vets, researchers and volunteers joining to re-release Lizzie the koala back into her home following treatment at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

Lizzie was first spotted by Friends of the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden volunteers as part of a research partnership project with Sunshine Coast Council and the University of Queensland.

It came to researchers’ attention that Lizzie had a chlamydial infection, and she was taken to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for treatment.

Today, researchers and vets joined the Friends volunteers to release her back into the gardens.

Lizzie will be fitted with latest technology tracking collar which will allow researchers to monitor her location remotely by logging onto a website.

Wildlife researcher Sean Fitzgibbon said the remote tracking would allow his team and vets to monitor Lizzie’s activity levels within the gardens.

“This is really valuable information because sick koalas become less active,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“This provides us with a way of continually monitoring Lizzie’s health, and possibly acting before it is too late, should she become unwell.”

The Friends of the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden volunteers will also have a critical role in monitoring Lizzie’s recovery.

“While the electronic tracking is a huge step forward, the collaboration with these wonderful volunteers at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden is incredibly important, as we don’t have visual data of what Lizzie is eating, which trees the koalas are living in, what their behaviour patterns are like without being on site,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“Having a partnership with the Friends that allows them to feed that valuable information back to us is a really big help in this project.”