The death of 16 koalas on a eucalyptus plantation in Australia is a mystery to animal rights activists. As early as mid-June, 13 animal carcasses were discovered on the site in the southwest of the state of Victoria, the region’s nature conservation authority said on Monday. Now three more dead specimens of the endangered marsupials have been discovered. The animals had no external injuries such as broken bones or gunshot wounds. An autopsy did not provide a conclusive cause of death either.
The koalas were in various stages of decomposition. Some of the animals probably died a year ago, others only a few weeks ago. The authorities want to investigate further. “The absence of any trauma and the pathological findings suggest that the deaths could be the result of environmental factors,” it said.
Authorities are investigating in all directions
However, it cannot be ruled out that the cute marsupials were willfully killed. “The maximum penalty for killing protected wildlife is A$9,246 fine 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 that only live Down Under is declining rapidly, and has shrunk by 30 percent within a few years. In many parts of the country, koalas are already extinct. In particular, the devastating bush fires in the summer of 2019/2020 had contributed significantly to the decimation of the cute eucalyptus eaters. But the animals are also threatened by droughts, heat waves and water shortages.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.