IN A bittersweet turn, a koala joey weighing one kilogram has been rescued after her mother died from being hit by a vehicle at Wellington Point.
Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said the nine-month-old orphan, who has been named Violet, was sitting on her dead mother's back in the middle of the road when she was rescued at 11.30pm on Friday.
"A passing motorist noticed Violet running on the road towards her mother," Ms Pointing said. "It's highly likely she was knocked off by the impact of the vehicle that struck and killed her mother."
The mum is one of 12 koalas reported as struck by vehicles in the Redlands since the beginning of June, according to a Redland City Council spokeswoman.
"Of these, six were dead on arrival (two in each of June, July and August) and five were injured and taken to a wildlife hospital (one in June, two in August, two so far in September)," the spokeswoman said. "In July, one was reported but not located."
Ms Pointing said the koala mum's death on Main Road - during Save the Koala Month - was a stark reminder to motorists to be extra vigilant and slow down, especially while driving at night in dark areas.
"We're in the middle of breeding season so expect to see more koalas in sometimes unusual and unexpected places," she said.
Violet is being cared for by renowned koala researcher and carer Deidre de Villiers. She will need to be in care until early next year.
Ms Pointing said Violet's mother was a young healthy female.
"Violet may have been her first young," she said. "This is such a waste as she would have had many breeding years ahead of her and we can't afford to keep losing these animals from the declining Redlands koala population."
If you see a sick or injured koala, phone Redlands Wildlife Rescue on 3833 4031.
Ms Pointing appealed for koala sightings to be reported via koalagroup.asn.au/report-a-koala-sighting.