Koala burnt in fires at Canungra and her joey rescued by police

RESCUED: A koala and her joey were rescued from bushfires in the Gold Coast hinterland. Photo: Derek Finch
RESCUED: A koala and her joey were rescued from bushfires in the Gold Coast hinterland. Photo: Derek Finch

A KOALA, injured in fires at Canungra and found cradling her joey, has been rescued by police.

Police also rescued a black staffie from a house on Timbarra Drive shortly before fires ravaged through the area.

Beaudesert police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter Waugh said police were helping evacuate people from the bushfires about 4.30pm on Friday when they spotted the koala and joey on a stump.

"Everything was burnt to the ground around them," Senior Sergeant Waugh said.

"The mum had burns to her back - it was singed - and she had obvious burns to her ears but the bub didn't seem to be injured."

Read rolling coverage of the fires here.

Senior Sergeant Waugh said the dog spent most of the night with officers until she was handed to a resident who was trying to find the dog's owner.

Senior Sergeant Waugh said the police used gloves to rescue the joey who was being protected by her mother.

"She was very protective of her baby," he said. "When we found her it looked like she was lying on top of her young - as if she was cradling it."

Senior Sergeant Waugh said the police put the pair in the caged area of the police four-wheel-drive.

"She climbed onto the cage and was there for about two hours before we could pass her onto wildlife volunteers at the Canungra showgrounds," he said.

Canungra resident Derek Finch said he thought the animal was part of the stump before realising it was a koala.

"I walked around it and saw that it had been burned," he said.

Wildcare Australia said the koala and joey were taken to the RSPCA Queensland wildlife hospital in a stable condition for treatment and were being monitored.

Senior Sergeant Waugh said the police had rescued the staffie about half an hour before fires ravaged through the area.

"We were checking that people had evacuated and found her when we knocked on the door," he said.

"We grabbed her and put her in a police van."

After spending most of the night with police she was handed to a Beechmont resident who was trying to find her owner.

Meanwhile, an offer has been made to horse owners looking for someone safe to keep their animals.

Lynn Porter said she could be contacted on 0407 119 673.

She had animals being cared for at the Canungra showgrounds and Biddadabba.

Feed was being stockpiled for the horses.

Wildcare Australia urged residents to not put themselves in harm's way to rescue animals affected by fires.

"If you live in the affected bushfire areas and see any injured wildlife please call Wildcare immediately on 5527 2444," the organisation said.

"Thank you to all involved in getting these precious two the help they need.

" Sending our Wildcare volunteers on the ground all the support. It's going to be a tough weekend."

Trauma carers would set up a nearby station to help emergency service teams with injured wildlife.

People could help injured wildlife by placing bowls of water in their backyards during the hot and dry weather.