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article imageStolen koala found in car park

By Lynn Curwin     May 13, 2011 in World
Somersby - Banjo, a koala who was stolen from Australian Reptile Park, was returned two days later- left inside a plastic bin in the car park.
The 13-year-old animal, which was not one of those on display, was taken from the park in Somersby, New South Wales during the night of May 9-10. Bolt cutters were used to open his enclosure.
On May 11 an anonymous caller rang the park during the afternoon and said the koala was in the carpark.
Keepers hurried out to find Banjo inside a plastic waste bin with a milk crate over him.
A message on the Australian Reptile Park website stated that, after an inspection by mammal keepers and a veterinary consultation, operations manager Tim Faulkner said that "although tired, hungry and a little dehydrated it appears that Banjo has no signs of trauma or any long lasting ailments."
The koala arrived at the park this year to increase the genetic diversity of its breeding program. He had previously been at a zoo in Queensland, where he sired two joeys.
"He was in his own enclosure because we were concerned about him and we wanted him to get used to his new home before we introduced him to any females.," the Daily Telegraph quoted park general manager Mary Rayner as saying.
Because Banjo was an elderly koala, he was on a special diet that included vitamins and minerals supplements.
"He started to eat straight away, which is very good," Faulkner told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"He climbed straight up on to the perch, settled in and started to eat leaves and I thought, 'you beauty'."
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