An image of a koala rescued from the timber frame of a house under construction in a new Hunter estate has sparked renewed outrage about the destruction of koala habitat.
The koala, dubbed 'Medowie Matt' after the tradesman who found him, was recently rescued from Tallowood estate at Medowie.
Port Stephens Koalas' Ron Land said the koala was diagnosed with ocular chlamydia.
"The trigger for which is almost always stress," he said. "Clearly the koala just lost its bearings completely because they're very territorial.
"It's a very new estate. It wouldn't have been cleared all that long ago, so he would have been travelling on his normal route home."
But Tallowood managing director Jonathan Steggles Mendez said the site was initially cleared before 1976 with only a small number of introduced trees removed from the site in recent years.
He said they had planted more than 8200 trees on the site including 1100 koala feed trees.
While the image of the koala sitting on the manmade structure may look out of place, unfortunately, Mr Land said the situation isn't all that unique.
"It's common for us to have to rescue koalas from developments with this creeping destruction of their habitat," he said.
"Quite a number of koalas on roads, in people's backyards.
"With the destruction of habitat, more and more koalas are fighting over what's left."
The rescued koala will undergo a four week course of antibiotics via injection, but Mr Land has further concerns for the animal.
"Hopefully we've caught it early enough so we can release him, but the question for us is where?"
"Koalas are notorious for heading back to what is known as their home turf.
"There are restrictions on us under our license. We must return them to within a 10km radius of where we found them. But the growth of these new estates is just staggering."
Mr Steggles Mendez said Tallowood was meeting with Port Stephens Koalas to discuss the release of the koala.
The image of Medowie Matt was referenced by the Animal Justice Party for a rally held in Sydney on Saturday, which was World Environment Day.
The rally was part of a campaign called #KoalasNeedTrees, "condemning the NSW Government's inaction on koala conservation".
"This is who we're fighting for this #WorldEnvironmentDay and every other day," Animal Justice MP Mark Pearson said in a Facebook post.
"Koalas like this poor soul, who found his way onto a building site, clearly looking for food and habitat. Instead, he found a bulldozed worksite of cement and barren wooden beams."
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington also posted on social media about the rescued koala.
"It doesn't get much sadder than this," the Labor MP said.
"He was looking for the tree that used to be his home.
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