Warning: This story and photos may be distressing to some readers
On Tuesday Friends of the Koala’s (FOK) Rescue hotline received a call from a member of the public who had seen a most distressing sight of a dead koala hung by its neck on a local Council gate near the Summerland Way and Rappville Road corner.
This was the same location as a meeting place for a protest that was held on the weekend to save the koalas.
A member of the public posted an image online on their FaceBook page and another woman phoned Council yesterday morning.
The rangers, like us, were horrified that someone would do this to a koala even if it was dead
Council rangers went out and had a look and they eventually located the koala. They contacted the RSPCA and the National Parks & Wildlife Service and as a result the koala was buried in their landfill.
FOK President Ros Irwin said the rangers told her the koala was a juvenile, possibly only recently a back-young joey, with no signs of what caused this to happen. ‘We would have carried out a necropsy on it to see whether that cast any light on the cause of her death,’ said Ms Irwin. ‘The rangers, like us, were horrified that someone would do this to a koala even if it was dead. At the very least it was disrespectful, but it is possible that she was still alive when picked up. We just hope she wasn’t.’
Ms Irwin said that the best way to respond to finding a koala in distress in the Northern Rivers Region is to phone FOK’s 24 hour hotline – 6622 1233 – and if an animal is dead, to check first to see whether it is a female with a joey in her pouch and to record any indicators of the cause of the death.
‘Even if a koala is dead, we would like to determine the reasons for the death’, she said.