“Bazza”, the koala, brought almost four weeks of joy to the residents of Spoonbill Street at Peregian Beach.
He, who turned out to be a she, was the first koala to be seen in the street for at least two years, with the sighting coming four months after the community set up a bush-care group following the poisoning of two native trees.
“Bazza had become our green hero,” Spoonbill resident Lyn Bollen said.
Unfortunately the street's happiness over their new neighbour turned to sorrow last weekend when Bazza had to be put down.
“The first photos we took (of the koala) showed what appeared to be a reasonably healthy little guy who liked the blue gums in Rene Conway's property and tried to sleep but found it difficult as he was being harassed by crows and other birds,” Ms Bollen said.
“However, one of the photos revealed Bazza had a slightly dirty bottom.
“We sent the photo to the Wildlife Warriors Hospital for their advice and within five minutes of receiving the photo the staff had called us advising they would like to visually check his health.”
The initial diagnosis from Wildlife Warriors was that Bazza had cystitis and could be treated in hospital.
In male koalas, cystitis is not a death sentence. However, in females it can be fatal.
“Unfortunately, as in the case of Sam the Victorian koala, our Bazza was in fact a female and was suffering from severe cystitis,” Ms Bollen said.
“She had massive cysts in her reproductive system and would have been in pain.
“These cysts would have been growing for some time and her ability to survive in the wild would have been greatly reduced.”
Ms Bollen said even though Bazza would not be returning to the beachside community, the koala had left a legacy for residents of Spoonbill and adjacent streets.
“Our joy was the knowledge we had come together to save our little buddy,” she said.
“It was our green karma. Now our sorrow is that we were too late to help her beyond relieving her of her pain.”
Two other koalas have been spotted in the past few days in nearby Wagtail Drive.
The Spoonbill Street residents are fostering a koala at the Lone Pine sanctuary in Brisbane, as a result of selling more than 200 No Tree No Me stickers for the Australian Koala Foundation.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.