Dozens Of Koalas Killed In Alleged “Massacre” On Logging Plantation In Victoria


The Victorian Government is investigating after a significant number of injured, starving, and dead koalas were found on a private property in Victoria’s south-west.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth (FoE) said the “koala massacre” occurred during the logging of a bluegum plantation near Cape Bridgewater.

A rescue operation is now underway, with local and government workers on site to rescue and tend to the remaining koalas.

FoE claims through its local sources that hundreds of koalas may have been killed or injured during logging activities throughout the past week alone.

“A logging harvest was completed in late December 2019, where reports came in about the plight of hundreds of starving koalas,” the group claims. “A couple of days ago people apparently witnessed the bulldozing of many dead koalas into slash piles.”

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) announced on Sunday that it is investigating the distressing incident.

Approximately 30 koalas were removed from the site on Friday to be treated, with food and water provided to the remaining koalas.

Following a separate assessment, another 50 koalas were taken into care on Sunday, while others were euthanised on site due to injuries or starvation. DELWP did not specify how many, but Nine News is reporting at least 18 koalas have been euthanised.

“This is a very distressing incident and DELWP and the Conservation Regulator are taking this matter very seriously,” the department said in a statement.

Koalas are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975, which means any killing, harassing, or disturbing of wildlife can attract a penalty of up to $8,000 and an additional fine of more than $800 per head of wildlife.

Local resident Helen Oakley first alerted authorities to the incident on Wednesday after hiking in the area, she told the ABC.

She posted a video from the site on Facebook, clearly emotional.

“They bulldozed 140 acres down and just killed all of our koalas,” she said.

“There are koalas lying there dead, mothers killed and only little babies. Australia should be ashamed of this.”

Oakley told the ABC that she had found 10 dead koalas at the property since Wednesday, and said some of them had already been “fairly decomposed so they’ve been there for a while.”