In photos:

In photos: Caring on the front line

29 Jun 2017


  • koalas
  • queensland
  • tree-clearing

Wildlife carers give their time and their homes to sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.


These remarkable people see first-hand the devastating impact that excessive tree-clearing is having on the animals of southeast Queensland.


With time running out for koalas along the Koala Coast, and localised extinctions already taking place, their work is more important than ever. 


Award-winning wildlife photographer Doug Gimesy travelled with WWF on our trip to meet some of the heroes working on the front line to save Australian species. Here’s a selection of some of his heart-warming images…


You can help protect koalas from excessive tree-clearing by sending a message to key Queensland politicians here

Portrait of Icarius an adult male koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) eating an Eucalyptus leaf at Return to the Wild Inc. Toowoomba, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

A young male koala, named Icarus, munches on a Eucalyptus leaf while in care at Return to the Wild Inc. He earned his name after he fell from a tree. One day soon he'll be released to the wild, but his carer, Clare, is worried there will be no viable habitat for him to return to.

Wildlife carers gathering for rescued animals afternoon feed. Toowoomba, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

A group of wildlife carers meet to swap stories and caring tips over tea and sandwiches. Sharing the highs and lows of caring is as important to the carers’ health - giving much needed encouragement and support – as it is to the wildlife in their care.

Sonja and wildlife carers having a chat while nursing joeys at Return to the Wild Inc. Toowoomba, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

A red-necked wallaby joey, 'Sadie,' rests after a feed while her carer speaks to fellow-carers, Catherine and Sonya.

Kangaroo and wallaby joeys chilling out on Sonja\

Young orphan wallaby and kangaroo joeys 'hanging out' on the back porch at wildlife carer and vet nurse Sonya's property. These specially designed frames mimic their mother's pouches. Sonya cares for wallabies and kangaroos that have been left homeless or orphaned until they're ready to be returned to the wild.

Clare (Return to the Wild Inc.) with Flynn a rescued male koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

Wildlife carer, founder and president of Return to the Wild Inc., Clare, checks in with young male koala, Flynn. He's been hand raised by Clare since he was a tiny joey.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) eating leaves, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

A koala's main diet is Eucalyptus leaves which contain very low amounts of nutrients, meaning an adult koala must sleep for 18-20 hours to conserve energy.

Koala sign on a road near Toowoomba. Southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

The Toowoomba region is home to many koalas, however excessive tree-clearing is putting them at serious risk. Local wildlife carers are concerned there will soon be nowhere for koalas to go.

Jo Loader, Wildlife Veterinarian giving treatment to female koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in recovery at Endevaour Vet Ecology. Toorbul © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

Jo Loader, wildlife veterinarian, giving treatment to a koala in recovery at Endeavour Vet Ecology. Toorbul, southeast Queensland.

Dr Jon Hanger, Managing Director and Wildlife Veterinarian analysing injured koala  Xrays at Endevaour Vet Ecology. Toorbul © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

Dr Jon Hanger, Managing Director and Wildlife Veterinarian of Endeavour Vet Ecology, analyses the x-ray of a koala with a broken leg. The koala had been hit by a car but after some time in care made a full recovery and was released back to the wild.

Clare (Return to the Wild Inc.) feeding Eucalyptus leaves to a rescued young koala © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

Koala carer, Clare, gives a female koala some fresh 'browse' to eat. Supplying koalas with Eucalyptus leaves is never-ending work as koalas are fussy eaters.


Love Doug’s pics? You can find more of his work here.

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