The death of 16 koalas in a eucalyptus plantation in Australia is a mystery to animal rights activists. However, deaths can be the result of environmental factors.
Several dead koalas have been found at the site of a eucalyptus plantation in the south-east of Australia. As the Victoria State Nature Conservation Authority announced on Monday, 13 animal carcasses were discovered on the grounds of the plantation in mid-June. Now animal rights activists have found three more dead specimens of the endangered paddy.
The animals did not show any external injuries such as broken bones or gunshot wounds. An autopsy also did not reveal a conclusive cause of death.
Koalas were in different stages of decomposition. Some animals died maybe a year ago, some just a few weeks ago. Officials want to investigate further. “The absence of any trauma and the pathological findings suggest that the deaths may be the result of environmental factors,” it said.
However, it cannot be ruled out that the beloved marsupials were deliberately killed. “The maximum fine for killing protected wildlife is Australian dollars 9,246 (about 6,160 Swiss francs) and/or six months in prison,” the agency warned. Director Ash Bunce said: “We are investigating in all directions to find out what happened to these koalas.”
Last year, a study by the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) showed that the number of animals living only below is rapidly declining and within a few years has dropped by 30 percent. In many parts of the country, koalas are already extinct. Notably, the devastating bush fires in the summer of 2019/2020 contributed significantly to the destruction of the beloved eucalyptus eaters. But animals are also threatened by drought, heat waves and water scarcity.
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