Become a koala rehabilitator

What is koala rehabilitation?

Koala rehabilitation begins with the careful capture of a sick, injured, or orphaned koala.

Once rescued, koalas will be transported to a nearby wildlife hospital (Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre ) or veterinarian. A veterinarian will check for disease and injury, and assess whether a koala can be treated or not. If a koala can be treated, it can sometimes be released back to the wild after a short period of recovery, whereas other times longer term care may be required before a koala is ready to be released (for example with orphaned joeys).

Once assessed as ready, they are released at, or near, their point of rescue at a carefully chosen area of suitable habitat where they can rejoin local breeding populations.

How does koala rehabilitation contribute to the conservation of koalas?

The rescue of sick, injured, or orphaned koalas for rehabilitation and release back into the wild is a critical element of the koala conservation program in Queensland. Vulnerable to dog attacks, car strikes, and disease—koalas depend on the networks of volunteer rehabilitators who rescue, care for, and release koalas back into the wild. Volunteer rehabilitators are responsible for the successful rehabilitation of hundreds of koalas across Queensland each year.

Successful koala conservation relies on a collaborative approach across all sectors, and for communities to play a role in protecting local koalas. If you see a sick, injured, orphaned or dead koala, it’s important to report it by calling the koala ambulance on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

What is it like to be a koala rehabilitator?

Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators work closely with wildlife hospitals to rescue and care for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas, and once rehabilitated, they are often involved in their release as well. Through their efforts, thousands of koalas have been successfully rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

Each volunteer has their own special and unique reasons for wanting to be involved. For some it’s about connecting with nature or wanting to be part of something important, while for others it might be about learning skills, or changing their direction in work or life.

If you decide that koala rehabilitation is right for you, there are many ways you can help. By joining a volunteer wildlife rehabilitation organisation in Queensland, you can choose the type of activity and level of involvement that is right for you.

Some of the activities you could undertake as a koala rehabilitator are:

  • rescuing sick, injured, or orphaned koalas
  • transporting sick, injured, or orphaned koalas to and from veterinary surgeons
  • providing in-home care for orphaned koalas
  • releasing rehabilitated koalas back to the wild.

How can I become a koala rehabilitator?

Koala rehabilitators need to be able to work closely with veterinarians to rescue sick, injured, or orphaned koalas and ensure that they receive appropriate veterinary treatment and care so that they can be returned to the wild.

To get involved, contact your local koala rehabilitation organisation and find out what type of help they are needing. If you live in South East Queensland, visit the SEQ contacts directory for more information on organisations in SEQ.

What other ways can I help?

Everyone has a role to play in protecting koalas. Learn more about the ways you can help koalas.

Related information

A day in the life of a koala carer

Read a personal account of what it’s like to be a koala carer.