One Eye but Lots to Love: Nugz the Koala Has an Important Conservation Message to Share

An adorable one-eyed Koala now calls Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary home, after being hit by a car and rescued by good Samaritans.

Nugz was a 14-month-old joey, riding on his mum’s back when she was hit by a car. He was treated for a fractured skull. While he lost an eye, he escaped with his life. Sadly, his mum wasn’t so lucky.

“If he had tried to manoeuvre around in the wild with one eye missing, he may have ended up in all sorts of trouble,” said Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Koala Specialist and Mammal Supervisor Sarah Eccleston.

After a careful decision-making process, Nugz was sent to live at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We saw almost 600 Koalas come through Currumbin Wildlife Hospital just last year alone. Most of those guys recover and head home,” Sarah said. “We’re very, very lucky here at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to have our amazing Wildlife Hospital. So, for Nugz, that was his best option, to come here where he has amazing care 24/7.”

Now three years old, Nugz will take on an important role as a Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary animal ambassador, reminding us to protect Koalas, so that his wild counterparts don’t meet the same fate as him and his mum.

“He’s here to teach the people how important it is to follow our Koala conservation messages, to drive slowly when you’re in Koala habitat and in bushland, to put your pets away at night time, to look after our habitats and our wildlife,’ said Sarah. “These guys live with us. They live around us, and we need to protect them.”

When Nugz is older, he will also join Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Koala breeding program, to ensure that these cute, cuddly Australian icons can be appreciated for generations to come.

He’s still settling in and getting used to being around people, but very soon visitors will be able to meet Nugz, along with his fellow Koala ambassadors.

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