Logo for the documentary film, 'Koala Hospital', which highlights the many perils facing koalas, including climate change due to record fires across Australia, deforestation, dogs, and vehucular traffic. Graphic: koalahospital.comBy Jeremy Hance
28 January 2013

(mongabay.com) – According to Susan Kelly, koalas have become "urban refugees," under siege by expanding cities that bring with them deforestation, dogs, traffic, and other ills for native wildlife. Director of Global Briefing, and writer, producer and director of the new documentary Koala Hospital, Kelly has spent 3 years working to understand the rising threats to one of the world's most beloved marsupials.

While Koala Hospital highlights the many perils facing koalas, including climate change due to record fires across Australia, it also looks at the efforts of individuals who work to save koalas one—by—one at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, taking in patients who have been orphaned, hit by cars, scarred in fires, or attacked by dogs.

Koala Hospital is making its New York City premiere Saturday, February 2 at the 3rd Annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival. Ahead of its premiere, Kelly answered some questions from Mongabay.com about the film and her career. The film has already made waves in Australia where the government recently listed koalas as Vulnerable to extinction.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN KELLY

Mongabay.com: What is your background?

Susan Kelly: A degree in Communications led me to work in the news media as a journalist/producer, producing media for various organizations such as SkyNews, ABC, CNN, National Geographic, and the United Nations. I'm now an independent video journalist and producer with a focus on the environment and natural heritage—filming “urban frontlines” where the intersection between people and wildlife is the most problematic. [more]

Cute koalas have become 'urban refugees'

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