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Koala and joey on gym equipment at The Results Room in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room

Koala and joey on gym equipment at The Results Room in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room

Koala mum and joey seek refuge in a gym

10 Oct 2018

Keywords
  • environmental laws
  • koalas
  • tree-clearing

A CrossFit class in Brisbane’s south-east had a pair of surprise guests when a disoriented koala mum and joey made an unexpected visit.

 

The koalas crashed the late-night class and sought refuge on the equipment at The Results Room gym in Mansfield.

 

Koala and joey wander across gym floor at The Results Room in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room

 

“At first we thought it was a cat or a dog, and we were stunned when we realised it was a koala with a joey on her back. It would have made a hazardous journey across two major roads and an industrial complex to get to the building – she must have been very determined to get here,”
– Kiriana Giffin, The Results Room owner

 

Koala and joey on gym equipment at The Results Room in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room

 

“At first we were very excited to see a koala wandering about. But as a mum myself, I felt quite sad that the koala felt she had to come into the gym for help,” said Ms Giffin.

 

The CrossFit class was put on hold and the RSPCA was called to rescue the koalas, which were tagged and released south of Brisbane.

 

Koala and joey rescued after wandering into The Results Room gym in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room


WWF-Australia koala conservationist Stuart Blanch says the gym visit shows how the fragmentation of habitat is forcing these iconic animals to cross dangerous open areas when looking for trees, where they are at risk of being hit by cars or dog attacks.

 

“Most Australians would be shocked by how easy it is to bulldoze trees in which koalas live,”

– Stuart Blanch, WWF-Australia

 

In 2012, the Federal Government listed koalas as threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and sharp population declines. The QLD government responded this year by improving tree clearing laws, closing loopholes that are still open in NSW which make it very easy to destroy koala habitat.

 

“Last year the NSW government made the situation much worse for koalas by changing laws and legalising the destruction of 99% of koala habitat throughout the state,”

– Stuart Blanch, WWF-Australia

 

Koala and joey sitting on the gym floor at The Results Room in Brisbane © Kiriana Giffin / The Results Room 

 

Tree-clearing in NSW has risen dramatically over the past 12 months, leaving koalas with nowhere to go. At this rate, they could be locally extinct by as early as 2050. It’s a shocking situation for Australia’s iconic animal.


Will you join the tens of thousands of people that are demanding key NSW politicians save koalas and their trees? Sign the petition to save koalas here.

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Orphan koala joey, southeast Queensland © WWF-Aus / Patrick Hamilton

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