There is one little man who owes his life to Mark Sayer.
The long-time Wagga vet spent his weekend driving more than 150 kilometres to save Marshall, the baby koala.
Mere weeks old, the 500 gram marsupial had a broken leg and needed surgery, but Dr Sayer said no one was willing to operate on an animal so small.
It is the reason the Victorian sanctuary called the Kooringal Veterinary surgeon.
Dr Sayer said he had made it his mission to help injured marsupials and Australian wildlife across a number of years, with some patients travelling hundreds of hours to access his clinic.
“We’ve developed a bit of a reputation for treating them,” Dr Sayer said. “I see it as a kind of community service.”
He said the native Australian animals were often neglected and regarded as vermin.
“That’s the sad reality,” he said. “No one seems to care.”
Dr Sayer said nation-wide koala numbers had come under threat in particular, due to the spread of chlamydia across the species and the destruction of their habitat.
So when the Wagga vet heard about Marshall, he drove to Sale to save him.
Following Monday’s operation, Dr Sayer said the baby koala was already up and about and would make a full recovery.
“If you find an injured animal on the road, please check its pouch,” he said. “It’s really important.”