Georgie, the orphaned baby koala, who was driven more than 10 hours to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by a Mackay family.
Georgie, the orphaned baby koala, who was driven more than 10 hours to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by a Mackay family. Ben Beaden/Australia Zoo

Family drives over 10 hours to rescue orphaned koala

MEET Georgie - possibly the cutest little marsupial you will ever see.

The six-month-old koala joey owes her life to a Mackay family who has driven more than 10 hours to bring her to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

GEORGIE was found on the roadside in Mackay after apparently being hit by a car.

Her mum was nowhere to be found and a kind stranger dropped her off at a local vet.

That was when Andrea Gottke and her family became involved.

Ms Gottke is a member of Fauna Rescue Whitsundays and works closely with organisations such as the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to help injured wildlife.

The zoo was the closest facility with the expertise to treat a joey so young, so the Gottke family jumped in the car and hit the road with the 400g joey tucked safely away.

Amber Gillett, senior veterinarian and co-ordinator of veterinary research at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, examined Georgie when she arrived and was humbled by the dedication of the family in driving so far to have the joey treated.

"It is unclear exactly how Georgie became orphaned, but it is at this time of year that joeys are often beginning to emerge from the pouch," Dr Gillett said.

"Georgie's case is a classic example of how far our doors reach and how dedicated people in Queensland are to protecting our beautiful native wildlife.

"It is not uncommon for us to receive calls about injured animals from further north, however it's always a challenge to get them to the wildlife hospital here in Beerwah.

"So having Queenslanders like the Gottke family show such generosity and kindness is very greatly appreciated."

At last reports, Georgie is doing well and the Gottke family is back home in Mackay after another 10-hour drive.



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