A YOUNG koala created a stir on Thursday when it was spotted up a tree near Airds shops on Thursday.
University of Western Sydney koala expert and Advertiser columnist Robert Close said he had seen two koalas in the Airds bushland the day before, probably because of fires near the Georges River.
Dr Close said it was important that the state government's redevelopment of the Airds Bradbury housing commission area over the next 20 years take into account these furry residents.
"Any renewal needs corridors that allow the animal to walk across from the Georges River into Smiths Creek," Dr Close said.
"Smiths Creek is very important in terms of animals moving across the city and where Smiths Creek starts is actually by the Airds pub there [near where the koala was found]."
A Department of Finance and Services spokesman said the concept plan for the Airds Bradbury redevelopment achieved a balance between urban renewal and protecting areas for local koalas.
"The known koala population within the Georges River escarpment and O'Hares Creek extends to the north and south and will not be affected by the Airds Bradbury urban renewal project," he said.
"The plan includes the retention of a riparian corridor along Smiths Creek into areas of Cumberland Plain woodland containing the koalas' key eucalypt species.
"Offsets in the project conserve higher quality koala habitat adjoining Georges River."
Dr Close said it was also up to residents to leave koalas alone and not abuse or hurt them.
He said at first he had left the small koala in the car park near Airds shops on Thursday, but decided to capture it in the afternoon when a group of students started throwing rocks at it.
It was later released beside the Georges River.
To report koala sightings, phone the UWS pager on 9962 9996.