Deaths of 13 dead koalas in Victorian plantation under investigation: ‘devastating’

DISCLAIMER – GRAPHIC CONTENT: Victorian authorities are investigating the deaths of 13 koalas on a blue gum plantation near Hamilton.

Alerted to the bodies on Tuesday by the plantation operator, the conservation regulator is now working to determine what killed them.

Necropsies will now be carried out on the remains, which were found at an unharvested location on the site in a 30 x 30 meter area with no visible injuries.

The bodies of 13 koalas have been found in a timber plantation in Victoria. Source: Conservation Regulator

Pictures provided by investigators show the bodies are in various states of decomposition – one animal still retains fur, while another appears to be little more than a skeleton.

Preliminary inspections of the bodies indicate that some koalas had been dead for only two weeks, while others likely died around 12 months ago.

The conservation regulator will now consider whether environmental or human factors led to their death.

“Koalas, like all native wildlife, are protected in Victoria and we are following all investigative leads to better understand when, where and how these koalas died,” said conservation regulator Ash Bunce.

‘Where does it stop for koalas?’

When contacted by Yahoo News Australia about the find, local koala rescuer Janet Murray was horrified.

“Where does it end for these koalas? It’s just devastating,” she said.

She has been inundated by escalating requests for assistance for dead and dying koalas in the southwest of the state, many of whom are believed to have been displaced by habitat loss.

As a result, less than a fortnight ago, Ms Murray went public, sharing dozens of images of the koalas she had helped.

She also visited the scene of a prescribed burn at Mount Richmond where koalas were burned alive.

These incidents are separate from the current investigation by the conservation regulator.

Anthony Friends of Friends of the Earth investigated the industry’s impact on koalas in the southwest.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia on Thursday evening, he said the most recent incident left him “very alarmed”.

“It looks very suspicious and it’s very rare to have so many animals found in one place,” he said.

“The problem in the southwest is an ongoing disaster of national concern.”

The maximum penalty for destroying protected wildlife in Victoria is $9,087 and/or six months in jail.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000.

Do you have a tip for the story? Email: [email protected]

You can also follow us on Facebook, instagram, ICT Tac and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App store Where google play.

Comments are closed.