Koalas recovering at Mikkira

KOALA COUNT: Brian Wiseman counting koalas at Mikkira Station. The station lost a number of koalas in the Sleaford fire last year, but numbers are recovering well. Photograph: Ron Campbell.
KOALA COUNT: Brian Wiseman counting koalas at Mikkira Station. The station lost a number of koalas in the Sleaford fire last year, but numbers are recovering well. Photograph: Ron Campbell.
MIKKIRA STATION: Probus Club members who participated in the koala count were Alan Phitzner, Anne Wedding, Ron Campbell, Bette De La Perrelle, Heather Campbell, Mary Whitehear, Diana Matena, Max and Jill Anderson, Brian Knott, Dot Street, Don Laube, Shirley Wiseman, Paul Wilkins, Barbara Chambers and Brian Wiseman.

MIKKIRA STATION: Probus Club members who participated in the koala count were Alan Phitzner, Anne Wedding, Ron Campbell, Bette De La Perrelle, Heather Campbell, Mary Whitehear, Diana Matena, Max and Jill Anderson, Brian Knott, Dot Street, Don Laube, Shirley Wiseman, Paul Wilkins, Barbara Chambers and Brian Wiseman.

KOALAS at Mikkira Station are settling back into normal life well after last year's Sleaford fire.

The koala sanctuary at Sleaford Bay had a number of koalas perish in the fire last year but numbers are recovering well.

In September, members of the Port Lincoln Probus Club travelled to the sanctuary to conduct a koala count.

When the station first began, four females and two males were brought to Mikkira Station from Kangaroo Island.

After the count, 18 joey koalas and 96 adults were found throughout the sanctuary, taking the total to 114.

Mikkira Station owner Bette De La Perrelle said she was glad to see the koalas recovering so well after the fire.

"I had no idea what to expect, I didn't know how many were there before the fire," she said.

"There was no way to know how many were lost in the fire.

"Quite a lot of their habitat was burnt."

Mrs Perrelle said one female koala who was badly burnt in the fire and required medical treatment in Adelaide was able to return to the station once she had recovered.

She said she now believed the koala had given birth to a joey of her own.

"She was little when she came back but she's had a joey, so that's a nice story," she said.

Mrs Perrelle said despite the improvements with the koalas, she believed some of their habitat would never recover from last year's fire.

"Some of the gums were quite old, some of it will never recover," she said.

"It was a very, very fierce fire, I'm not really very hopeful of too many gums coming back."