A 9-month-old koala named Shayne had a rough start in life.
The young cub was forced to fend for himself after his mother was hit by a car. Rescuers found the furry little creature alone on the side of a road in Australia, being chased by crows.
Luckily, the koala managed to escaped unscathed.
But he still has a long road to recovery ahead.
“He’s dealing with the loss of his mum and the vital life lessons he needs to learn in order to become an independent, wild koala,” non-profit Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors posted on Facebook.
The koala is having a hard time, which may be why he’s often be spotted clinging to a stuffed koala bear as if it were his own mom. Wrapped in a pink blanket, Shayne uses the toy as a pillow.
Eventually, doctors say he will learn to live without it – just like he will have to learn to live without his mom.
Shayne isn’t the only wild animal having to cope with loss this time of year.
Springtime in Australia – September, October and November – is known as “trauma season.”
“Spring is a beautiful time of year in terms of weather and all the baby animals are born, but it also carries with it some tragedy every year, because all the animals are on the move,” Dr. Rosie Booth, Australia Wildlife Hospital Director, explained in a video.
Every year, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital sees a flood of birds, opossums, flying foxes and koalas. In fact, an average of 70 koalas come through the hospital every month.
“It’s absolutely devastating the kinds of injuries that they face,” Booth said.
While Shayne doesn’t appear to have any injuries, the joey will have to learn how to be independent so he can eventually be released into the wild.
It can cost up to $5,000 to treat one koala at the zoo’s hospital, Booth said.
Wildlife officials aren’t sure when Shayne will be ready to make his way back into the wild, but they assure us that he’s tougher than he looks.