One of the koalas being cared for by Friends of the Koala in Lismore.
One of the koalas being cared for by Friends of the Koala in Lismore. Contributed

'Disgusting, heartless' koala hit and run

WITNESSING a driver runover a koala on a Lismore Rd in broad daylight and blatantly drive off has scarred Kathy Everest.

The Woodburn resident was driving along Wyrallah Rd on Wednesday at about 2pm when a little koala jumped out onto the road. Unable to stop, the white van in front of Miss Everest collided with the koala, running over its back leg.

"He didn't event even slow down or anything and just drove straight off ," Miss Everest said  

"It was happened just before the quarry as you are leaving Lismore.

"It was terrible, the poor little guy.

"The driver didn't have a chance to totally stop for him, because he did jump out at him, but to not even stop and check is absolutely shameful."

Miss Everest, who was travelling with her mum, pulled straight over and called the Friends of the Koala, Lismore. 

"He was hobbling on his little right back leg, I think it was broken," she said.

"My biggest worry was that the shock would kill him.

"Mum tied a plastic bag split in half - one around the post and one of the tree he climbed up just to give to the rescuer a bit more of a marker. 

"I've heard of a lot of people doing a lot of hit and runs on wildlife around here and not caring which is very sad."

Soon after the ordeal Miss Everest took to social media to voice her outrage, calling the driver a "heartless human" as well as some other profanity's on the Lismore and Surrounding Information Exchange Facebook page.

"I couldn't help posting I was so disgusted at him driving away," she said.

"I figured it would be local driver on that road, and that group had the most members.

"People were commenting suggesting someone put up safe bridges across that road because everyone knows there's koalas there and they would have a safer way of crossing. If we could get something like that up around Lismore that would be brilliant."

President of Friends of the Koalas Dr Roslyn Irwin said they had a koala rescuer down at the scene 10 minutes after receiving the call from Ms Everest, but the koala was gone.

"This kind of situation is unfortunate," Dr Irwin said.

"Sometimes people can't stop, and there's often reasons people can't, but we are required legally to offer whatever support and assistance we can to wildlife because they important. It was good that Ms Everest stopped.

"What happens when a koala is hit is it can be seriously injured and have many broken bones, but the adrenaline will ensure that it will gather itself together and go up the closest tree it can. Then they and get stuck up there and they can't get down, it's really sad thing.

"It's important to get in touch with us but the best thing is for someone to stay with the animal until we can get there."