Koalas are well taken care of across Australia to effectively keep the marsupials alive. According to reports, koalas are now considered endangered for various reasons. The World Wildlife Fund in Australia disclosed the information that almost 60,000 koalas were terribly affected by wildfires in 2019 and 2020. The koala population continues to decrease as environmental changes and disasters occur in their habitat. Those koalas suffered injuries, smoke exposure, dehydration, trauma, and predation.
Since then, Australian vets have made sure that those koalas were given extra care, proper treatment, and medication. Labeling koalas as an endangered species was an important step to exert more action for the marsupials, as it was indeed alarming and required immediate action. However, last June, news about koala deaths happened again. This time, it was the questionable death of sixteen koalas at a Victoria tree plantation. A conservation regulator reported the situation, but the reason was still unknown. On June 14, thirteen koala bodies were found on the site; later, three more bodies were collected.
The regulator relayed said that the bodies were in different stages of decomposition — with an estimate of two weeks to twelve months. Although the bodies were investigated, the necropsy results did not reveal detailed information regarding the cause of death. It wasn’t because of trauma, injury, or even gunshots — the case was a massive enigma. The regulator suggested that environmental factors could be the answer to the mystery as well. Ash Bunce, the regulatory operations director, also shared that they are following up on inquiries regarding the investigation.
An estimated 413,000 koalas are living in Victoria. Barwon South West, Gippsland, and Hume are home to 80% of that population. Koalas residing in Victoria are under the protection of the law — Victoria’s Wildlife Act. Anyone found or proved to be the suspect in the incident will be punished. Perpetrators will be paying a fine with a maximum penalty of $9,246 or six months in prison.