With the devastating number of injured wildlife during the the bushfires earlier in the year, the work of local environmental organisation Friends of the Koala (FOK) is more important than ever. Earlier this year Santos Organics partnered with FOK to support their core operational expenses with a $10,000 donation, which was possible thanks to you shopping at Santos! This month we’re sharing a little update about our partnership.
Friends of the Koala is a non-governmental organisation, first established in 1986. Ever since then FOK’s aim has been to enhance and protect koala habitat, and they’re today the lead organisation fighting for koalas in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales.
Amongst many other activities, FOK maintain a 24/7 Rescue Hotline; rescue, rehabilitate and release sick and injured koalas; and operate both a Triage, Treatment and Pathology Clinic as well as an Education and Administration Centre in East Lismore. They also organise a merciful death for koalas that can’t be saved; propagate and sell koala food trees; and provide advice to landowners on extending koala habitat. Considering that FOK is an almost entirely volunteer run organisation with only 4 paid staff they are doing some amazing work to say the least!
Friends of the Koala have seen an increase in intakes from 300 per year before the bushfires to over 450 in the last year. This has put a lot of pressure on their little team and rehabilitation centre, which can only handle about 20 koalas at any time comfortably. But great news is that FOK have recently received a licence to operate the first specialised koala hospital in the Northern Rivers region. This means rather than transporting koalas up to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital increasing their stress levels, they can now treat them on site immediately. Obtaining a hospital licence is something FOK have worked towards for many years now, so this is exciting!
With the arrival of spring, koala admissions are on the rise again, as when the weather warms up more koalas are on the move to find new habitat and potential mates. During this time of year, the numbers of koalas hit by vehicles and attacked by dogs is sadly at an all time high. In preparation for peak season, FOK are currently starting to induct more volunteers across all of their operations, install temporary enclosures and collect more leaf, so that they can manage the influx of koalas.
To date FOK have spent $2,345.81 from the Santos Organics grant on upgrading their leafing area, and we are very proud to be supporting the great work they is doing – only possible thanks to our amazing customers of course.
FOK are in ongoing need of operational funds, many koala fans are happy to adopt koalas but support with operational expenses is equally as essential for FOK to continue their amazing work. If you are able to help CLICK HERE, fill out the form and select “wherever FOK sees fit” for where your donation is to be directed within the organisation.