SAVED: Billie the koala was rescued by TMR and released today.
SAVED: Billie the koala was rescued by TMR and released today.

Injured koala released back into wild

A PARTIALLY blind koala found next to the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing corridor has been nursed back to health and released.

He was spotted by Transport and Main Roads staff in a Queensland blue gum near the disused pilot tunnel originally intended for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

The koala was given then name Pilot Billie and he has become something of a mascot for the Toowoomba Main Roads team.

Veterinarian Jon Hanger said Billie was nearly blinded by infections in both eyes and suffered from an infection of the bladder.

Dr Hanger worked with Cabarlah wildlife carer Clare Gover and Endeavour Veterinary Ecology staff to nurse Billie back to a healthy weight and restore his eyesight.

Ms Gover said Billie's condition was so bad he would have only been able to find food by smell and feeling his way around.

Billie jumped for joy when the team released him today.

TMR regional director Kym Murphy said Endeavour Veterinary Ecology would work with contractor Nexus and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing team to spot, tag and release koalas as part of a program funded by Transport and Main Roads.

"Ecologists use cutting edge technology including thermal imaging scopes to find koalas in thick vegetation," she said.

"We will closely monitor the local koala populations during works at Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

"If sick or injured koalas are found it's good to know people can call on groups such as Return to the Wild, who do a great job caring for these iconic animals in our area."


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