HE WAS one of the lucky ones — a baby koala who was found clinging to a tree not far from his dead mother and who was rescued and given a second chance at life.
Now Pindari the koala is set to make a statement for another reason.
This 10-month-old joey will be the first baby koala in recent years to be rescued and then released back into the wild in the Sydney Basin.
WIRES carer Cate Ryan, who is at present looking after Pindari at her home in St Andrews, said that most joeys whose mothers were killed were either never found or were discovered dead in the pouch.
"You just don't find them," she said.
"We've only found three alive since I've been doing this and that's why it's significant. It's very significant for the Macarthur area because it shows we have a thriving colony."
Ms Ryan said she was preparing for Pindari to be radio-collared for research purposes and released close to where he was found in Lynwood Park, St Helens Park, early next year.
"He's the first baby in the Sydney Basin who's going to be released, so we want to do it right," she said.
"We're looking at releasing him at the end of January when he's a little bit bigger.
"There's a lot riding on his little shoulders.
"The biggest thing he's going to face is what every animal faces — the predator problem — and he's not had his mother to teach him how to cope with that."
For now though, Ms Ryan said, Pindari's main activities were eating and sleeping.
"He sleeps 20 hours a day, but he's getting more and more active," she said.
"He's cranky, he will bite and swipe at you, and he's got attitude, which is partly because he's a male.
"He's starting to vocalise so now and then you'll hear a gurgly growl.
"He will eventually bellow."
Ms Ryan seeks donations of scrap metal or lengths of pool tin and would like to borrow perimeter fencing panels to help build a protected outdoor area for Pindari.
Details: WIRES will hold a rescue and immediate care course for people who would like to become carers. The course will take place in Liverpool on the Saturday and Sunday of October 6 and 7 and costs $85. Details: Email email@example.com or phone Cate on 0415 957 383.