Investigation Launched After "Koala Massacre" Uncovered In Victoria
Horrific video emerged at a logging operation
After several videos and reports emerged from a logging operation in Victoria's south-west emerged, an investigation has been launched to address what is being called a "koala massacre". A viral video by Facebook user Helen Oakley has gained the most traction, showing the devastation left behind and the pain felt by locals. *Warning this article contains distressing content*
WATCH BELOW: Woman makes emotional plea after 'Koala massacre' on Victoria's southwest
Conservation group Friends of the Earth has shared images of the incident, which included a number of injured and dead koalas at a blue gum plantation near Cape Bridgewater.
"According to our local sources, hundreds of koalas may have been killed or injured during logging activities this week alone," the group said in a statement. "Friends of the Earth is alarmed that such wanton destruction and widespread death and injuries continue to plague the south-west Victorian plantation industry."
A rescue operation, made up of both government workers and volunteers, is now underway to save the remaining koalas.
"If this is found to be due to deliberate human action, we expect the Conservator Regular to act swiftly against those responsible," a spokesperson for Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) told SBS News."Wildlife welfare assessment and triage will continue with qualified carers and vets. DELWP will be on site ensuring resources and expertise is available to continue to care for wildlife injured."
Friends Of The Earth
Greens spokesperson for the environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said images of the "koala massacre" were "gruesome".
"Australians already heartbroken by the images of burned koalas, will be ashamed and distressed that this is happening," Senator Hanson-Young said. "We cannot allow anyone to get away with this type of cruelty and harm and it's up to governments to do something to stop it."
Koalas are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Killing, harassing or disturbing them can attract a penalty of up to $8,000 and an additional fine of more than $800 per head of wildlife.
The March issue of marie claire celebrates the incredible Australian women helping to rebuild our nation and giving us hope – in true Aussie spirit. Here, model and animal advocate Elyse Knowles joins forces with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - and an adorable koala joey called Tink - to talk about saving our cherished wildlife.
After a bushfire season like no other, how heartwarming was it to watch the world rally to support victims big and small - especially our wildlife. Which is why we loved having the opportunity to shoot the adorable koala joey Tink, safe in the arms of protective animal advocate Elyse Knowles. We wanted to capture a feeling so alive in our nation at this moment: our overwhelming desire to #protectwhatwelove. Our March issue is a celebration of this true Australian spirit and revealed in our interviews with passionate firies, hope-filled survivors, activists taking a stand and devoted wildlife warriors. Tap link in bio for Elyse and Tink's story. 📸@davidmandelbergstudio. Styling by @chloebuttenshaw