Time is of the essence for three orphaned koala joeys stolen from the home of an RSPCA wildlife carer early last Friday.
RSPCA vet nurse and wildlife carer Sam Longman has worked with koalas for nearly 10 years and is increasingly concerned for the health and safety of the missing animals.
“These particular joeys are too young to be released into the wild and two of them are on medication,” said Ms Longman
“It’s vital that they get put back on their treatment.” she said.
Appeals for information have been made on social media and a financial reward has even being offered for the koalas’ safe return, but there has been no breakthrough as yet.
Police have said that if the animals are released into the wild that they are vulnerable to other animals or traffic.
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said that the situation has now escalated because whoever has taken the joeys must realise the danger they are in.
“At first it was thought that it could be a misguided prank and the animals would be returned very quickly” said Mr Beatty
“However, there is no way that whoever took the joeys doesn’t realise the danger the animals are in”
If caught, it is possible that those responsible for taking the joeys could face animal cruelty charges under the Animal Care and Protection Act.
However, Ms Longman said her main concern was simply the return of the animals to care.
She has left two koala cages attached to her letterbox and switched off her security lights urging the culprit to return.
“You can place them straight into the cages and walk away or slip something into my letterbox letting me know where you released them” she said.
“Lie if you have to, say you found them. Whatever it takes to get them back safe and sound”
Police have urged those who took the joeys to call the RSPCA for assistance on 1300 ANIMAL or to hand them in at the nearest police station, vet clinic or RSPCA.
Police can be contacted via Policelink on 131 444.
Any information can also be given to Crime Stopper anonymously on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au