The koala spotted in Pegg's Park, Moorooka, the first one to be seen in the area in 21 years. Picture: Brad Lambert
The koala spotted in Pegg's Park, Moorooka, the first one to be seen in the area in 21 years. Picture: Brad Lambert

First koala spotted in suburban park for 21 years

Moorooka residents are rejoicing after a koala was spotted in a local park for the first time in 21 years.

And it is all due to the hard work of a local tree planting group.

The healthy young male was spotted in Pegg's Park last week and had probably ventured down from Toohey Mountain, about 1km away.

It has since been moved back to Toohey Forest after it began heading along Moolabin Creek wildlife corridor towards busy Ipswich Rd.

Councillor Steve Griffiths (Moorooka) said the corridor was the site of revegetation

work by Moorooka Greening Group and Brisbane City Council since 1998.

"It is absolutely brilliant to see a koala now visiting the site," Cr Griffiths said.

"I wish to congratulate the Moorooka Greening Group on the wonderful work they have done, and continue to do, with residents in rejuvenating the site.

"I helped set up the group back then and at the time there were virtually no trees, so it's marvellous all their hard work has paid off at last.''

Cr Griffiths paid tribute to John Hegerty and his wife Maureen Kelly, who have been leading the tree planting group for the past four years.

He said the koala had been "getting a bit of attention'' after it managed to find its way to Pegg's Park through a maze of suburban backyards unscathed.

It appeared to be in good condition.

"That side of Toohey forest seems to be home to the younger males,'' Cr Griffiths said.

"I was obviously looking for mates or leaves with more moisture in them as the mountain is pretty dry at the moment and the leaves in trees in the gullies have more water in them.''

The marsupial was not tagged but was being monitored and was relocated by a local wildlife group.

Mr Hegerty said now they knew the park was attractive to koalas,they would refocus on more food tree plantings as they had got up to "maintenance mode''.

"There's been a dramatic transformation since we first started. We've planted hundreds of trees,'' he said.

"We've seen plenty of birds and reptiles, but to see a koala was just amazing.''



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