VIDEO: Peta the koala’s physiotherapy

By Jared Richards April 27, 2016
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After being struck by a car, Peta is regaining her strength to go back out to the wild.

AFTER BEING STRUCK by a car two months ago, this week Peta the koala takes a step forward in her recovery at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by beginning physiotherapy.

Pending her complete recovery, the koala will be let back into the wild within several weeks – thankfully the director of the hospital, Dr Rosie Booth, sees a bright future ahead.

”She’s such a beautiful koala with a very pert personality,” Rosie says. “She is very eager to get back to life in the wild and the whole team here at the Wildlife Hospital have been working very hard to get her to that point.”

At just 18 months old, Peta was hit by a car at Nymboida in New South Wales when leaving her mother’s care for the first time. After the accident, Peta required immediate emergency surgery and round-the-clock care as she suffered multiple fractures across her body.

Dr Rosie Booth with Peta checking X-rays from her treatment (Photo: Ben Beaden/Australia Zoo)

Pins were inserted into Peta’s left leg to aid bone repair but now that they have been removed, Peta has begun her strengthening exercises to gain back the muscle power she’ll need in the wild.

Peta will be released back into the Nymboida area in several weeks, where, in good health, she will be able to breed and help fight against koala’s vulnerable population status.

You might recognise some of the moves in the video – barring the focus on getting Peta comfortable climbing trees again, Koala physio is pretty similar to its human counterpart.  

“[Physiotherapy is] about improving mobility and function for improved quality of life with massage and manipulation, as well as a multitude of walking and climbing exercises,” says Rosie. “The only difference, I’d say, is how cute she looks doing it all.”