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Road-widening koala victim

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A Ballina Pacific Highway Koala victim

THESE ARE PHOTOS of an emaciated Koala. As the neighbour who found him said: “He looks like something out of Changi”, ( an infamous prisoner of war camp ) starved and incapable of climbing more than a few feet of a nearby tree.

The Koala had obviously struggled across the nearby road, somehow getting over the exclusion fencing, desperately looking for food and his home range trees. He was in terrible shape and although taken to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, subsequently died. His stomach contents showed the leaves he had been given were undigested, his claws in shreds and his teeth ground down – a significant sign of stress.

You can see from the photo that this poor little creature also has wet bottom.

This is the fate of Wardell [Highway] koalas – a nationally significant Koala population destroyed by the RMS.

We have no idea how many Koalas have met a similar fate or how many are struggling to survive behind exclusion fences as their trees are covered in dust, the ground shaking with vibrations, their peaceful habitat blasting noise.

If you have ever wondered what happens to Koalas who lose their habitat, let this Koala be the poster child. They slowly starve to death. Their claws are shredded as they try to climb any remaining trees which have been collared with metal. Their teeth ground down to the gum as they stress, trying to find a tree with food, shelter, a place of peace.

These are the victims of a war zone. Koalas suffer. They feel pain. They die slow and painful deaths. Their stress is beyond words.

This is the legacy of the Berejiklian government, of Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, of Gabrielle Upton, Minister for the Environment – and all the organisations who have turned their back on the Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade disaster.

The real death toll will never be known. Australians for Animals Inc requests for an independent survey of remaining Koalas continues to be ignored by the RMS and the government. Without any survey, there’s no way of knowing how many Koalas have died, how many have found any new home range.

Do you want to vote for this Government? Politicians who allow gentle animals, wildlife with no means of protecting themselves to suffer and die should be charged with animal cruelty and imprisoned.


Source: words and images Sue Arnold, @koalacrisis
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Related story > Conservation group exposes clearing threat to koala/wildlife habitat

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