That’s why we were happy to oblige when Prince came for his koala health check!
Health checks for koalas in care help assess readiness for release, detect health issues requiring treatment, and allow tagging and microchipping for population monitoring.
To keep him chilled out, Prince underwent a short anaesthetic, allowing us to age him (did you know: koalas are aged by their teeth!), performed a complete physical exam, x-rays, blood tests and swabs of his mouth and cloaca to test for Chlamydia. He also received a brand new earring to help keep track of him in the wild.
Chlamydia is common in koalas, affecting their eyes, urinary and reproductive systems. These koalas may become blind, infertile, or, sadly, it can be fatal. Testing koalas in care, such as Prince, is vital so we can treat them, plus it helps us understand more about Chlamydia prevalence on the broader koala population.
Written by Caitlin Henning - Final Year Veterinary Student, The University of Sydney.