Dozens Of Koalas Found Dead Or Injured At Australian Logging Plantation
Warning: Graphic Content
While countless koalas have already died from bushfires ravaging parts of Australia, many have reportedly also been killed at a logging plantation in Victoria.
The plantation harvests blue gum trees, which are an important habitat for koalas. However, due to the logging facility, only a small number of trees were left in the area, leaving many koalas without food or shelter.
Dozens of koalas are believed to have died either by starvation or by machinery such as bulldozers, while around 80 surviving koalas have been rescued and are being cared for.
After the area of trees was logged in December last year, ‘hundreds’ of cases of starving koalas were reported, according to environmental group Friends of the Earth Australia.
Yesterday, February 1, Friends of the Earth Australia said:
According to our local sources hundreds of koalas may have been killed or injured during logging activities this week alone. Apparently, the land in question was owned by Australian Bluegum Plantations, whose lease expired in 2016. The plantation was apparently taken over and logged by South West Fibre, a joint operation between Midway and the Japanese company Mitsui. Apparently, after logging, the land was handed back to a private landholder.
A logging harvest was completed in late December 2019, where reports came in about the plight of hundreds of starving koalas, whose habitat had been logged by the plantation company. A couple of days ago people apparently witnessed the bulldozing of many dead koalas into slash piles.
Following the devastating ‘koala massacre’, Animals Australia is launching an investigation into the deaths.
In a series of tweets, the charity said:
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.
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.
Local resident Helen Oakley told BBC News:
There are koalas lying there dead. Mothers killed and their little babies. Australia should be ashamed of this. We need help.
While the logging companies involved have apparently claimed to have followed the necessary protocol in regards to the koalas, it’s argued not everything was done to protect the animals.
Animals Australia has said there are ‘various breaches of legislation’ including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and has sent teams to the logging site to rescue ‘as many of these precious animals as possible’.
Here’s hoping justice is found for the poor koalas.
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Friends of The Earth Australia