Dozens of koalas found dead or injured at Australian logging plantation
Although vast amounts of koalas have perished in the bushfires which continue to rage in Australia, a recent report reveals that many have also been killed at a logging plantation in Victoria.
The plantation purportedly harvests blue gum trees - an important habitat for koalas. Due to its presence, however, only a small number of trees were left in the area, leaving the native koalas without food or shelter.
Dozens of koalas are now believed to have died due to starvation or by machinery, including bulldozers. Around 80 surviving koalas have been rescued, and are currently being cared for.
Environmental group, Friends of the Earth Australia reported "hundreds"of cases of starving koalas after the area of trees were logged in December of last year.
This heart-wrenching video shows desperate koala guzzling down water from a cyclist:
In a statement, published yesterday, the environmental group wrote:
"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."
Animals Australia is now launching an investigation into what has been dubbed a "koala massacre".
The charity proceeded to post several tweets;
"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."