Koala Admitted With Rare Eye Colour Combination
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital recently admitted a koala patient named Bowie, picked up by the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit near Brendale last month after presumably being hit by a car. Luckily, her examination revealed that she escaped major injury while it also revealed something extremely special about her. Bowie has -heterochromia'; an extremely rare genetic condition in koalas that causes their eyes to be two entirely different colours.
Bowie's eye colouration is the result of a recessive gene inherited from her parents affecting the pigmentation in her iris. As a result, her right eye is bright blue while her left eye is a more common brown.
Despite being cleared of any major trauma injuries, Bowie's treating vet Dr. Sharon administered fluids and pain relief to help with the slight limp in her left hind leg caused by bruising and transferred Bowie to the mammals Intensive Care Unit. Bowie was also found to have mild cystitis and was administered antibiotics to aid her recovery.
Treating vet Dr. Sharon Griffiths says Bowie's blue eye does not affect her vision.
'Bowie's heterochromia doesn't affect how she sees the world around her, in fact her eyesight is great, exactly what we like to see in a young koala," she said.
'Apart from being extremely lucky in avoiding injury on the road, she's also incredibly unique as heterochromia isn't a common occurrence in koalas; it's more often found in domestic mammal species such as dogs and cats," Dr. Sharon added.
Bowie's health continues to improve in the Wildlife Hospital's Intensive Care Unit with close observation and monitoring around the clock from vets and vet nurses. The Rotary Club of Glasshouse Mountains has also generously contributed to her care with a donation, helping Bowie along her recovery journey.
Like with all wildlife patients, eventually the aim is to release Bowie back to the wild, well out of harm's way so she can help the vulnerable Queensland koala population survive.
Koalas in Queensland and Northern New South Wales are classified as vulnerable and need our help! Take care on the road, look out for injured wildlife and call the wildlife emergency hotline if you spot an animal in need.
WILDLIFE EMERGENCY HOTLINE: 1300 369 652
To support the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in helping Aussie patients like Bowie, donate today!