Koala recovering from dehydration after rescue from Cordeaux Dam wall

Koala recovering from dehydration after rescue from Cordeaux Dam wall

For bushwalker and nature enthusiast Tony Markham, seeing a stranded koala was the last thing he expected when he set out to walk the heritage-listed Cordeaux Dam wall early this week.

The dam is located on the western end of the Cordeaux Reservoir, one of a network of dams supplying drinking water to south-west Sydney and Wollongong nearby.

“I just walked out to the end as I normally do and there was a Water NSW guy,” he said.

“And I walked out and we had a bit of a chat and I was surprised when he just casually said, by the way there is a koala down there.

“It looks like it had a vertical wall on both sides and as if [the koala] had climbed up almost a vertical dam wall and it couldn’t get back down.”

They both concluded the koala was stuck, so they called the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) for help.

Team rescue effort

After much organising, Emma Meadows from Wollondilly WIRES, along with abseilers from DBC Group, arrived to perform the rescue.

“It involved a boat and people with ropes that were harnessed on,” Ms Meadows said.

“It followed all safety protocols for WaterNSW and for WIRES.

“It was a very safe but interesting rescue, that’s for sure.

“I am going to say I don’t think I have ever come across a koala in the middle of a spillway in a dam before.”

The young male koala, who they named Ollie, was taken away for examination and has since been found to be suffering from dehydration, possibly from being stranded on the wall and unable to eat.

A WIRES spokesperson said Ollie would be monitored until he was ready to be returned to bushland close to where he was found.