Hundreds of koalas may have been wiped out after logging in Victoria state left hundreds without trees.
The outrageous atrocity against koalas and other wildlife happened near Cape Bridgewater.
Authorities are investigating after photos and video emerged allegedly showing many dead and dying koalas in a barren field that was once home to vital bush habitat.
Registered nurse Helen Oakley spoke to media and said she had seen at least 60 displaced koalas, and counted more than a dozen dead.
Volunteers had been spending days trying to rescue and save the remaining koalas.
Helen Oakley shared an emotional video from the scene.
“Koalas are having their homes mowed down,” said Animals Australia.
“On becoming aware of this situation on Friday, we flew in a veterinary team,” Animals Australia confirmed on Sunday morning.
“With the support of local authorities and wildlife carers, vets are seeking to save as many of these precious animals as possible.”
“We are still gathering the details as to what has occurred in this case but it would appear that there are various breaches of legislation, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which we will be supporting authorities to pursue,” they said on social media.
“By law, the companies that own these plantations must provide koala ‘spotters’ to identify koalas in trees before logging commences, so that animals can be safely removed and relocated.
“There is also a legal responsibility to ensure the welfare of koalas after logging has ceased.”
Koalas may have moved to the area as bushfires moved through nearby habitats.
Warning: Distressing content
Friends of the Earth said in a statement the issue with koalas and logging was complex.
The “animals in question descendants of translocated animals brought in from Gippsland. These animals are chlyamidia free and suffer from booms and busts in their population cycles. In the mid 1990’s, the region saw a massive increase in the amount of bluegum plantations established (hundreds of thousands of hectares) and as a result, koalas moved into these plantations, bred and thrived. Once the plantations are logged after a 14 year growing period, any resident koala population suffers the consequence of logging and also suffers from having their food source eliminated.“
Humane Society International also released a statement.
HSI is extremely concerned at shocking reports of koalas dying on a recently logged property in Victoria. As authorities investigate we’re urgently organising our response and reaching out to wildlife carers saving injured koalas to offer support
Only 100,000 koalas were said to be left in Australia in September 2019.
However tens of thousands are lost since the Australian bushfires began and the number is now likely dramatically lower, pending new studies.
Some scientists say the koala may only have 20-years left if current trends continue.
This article first appeared on Melbourne News
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