Fire-Ravaged Koalas Need Help

Koala Media Release

Animal Liberation demands urgent support for NSW fire ravaged koala victims

Sydney, 17 October: Animal Liberation, an Australian animal rights group dedicated to permanently improving the lives of animals, has demanded urgent and immediate support for NSW fire victim koalas and their tireless and dedicated rescuers and advocates.

“It is beyond comprehension that in the middle of the NSW government Inquiry into declining Koala populations and the scheduled hearing at Ballina on Friday, that the urgent plight of injured, suffering and displaced koalas is still being ignored by the NSW government” said Animal Liberation’s Chief Executive, Lynda Stoner.

Last Tuesday, extensive fires devastated known koala colonies and habitat in the state’s northern rivers region including, the Braemar, Carwong and Royal Camp state forests. “These areas are home to our rapidly dwindling and endangered NSW koalas. Of those who have survived these fires, many will be highly distressed and suffering painful fire related injuries. On top of this, these koalas now also have to face further stresses in locating their remaining food trees in a fire ravaged area, and will struggle finding edible leaves and moisture.”

“Our government continues to support and promote logging on public and private land including in these now fire decimated areas, where logging was due to commence. This ongoing logging is killing off precious koala habitat and now the NSW government is also ignoring these fire-injured koalas, who desperately and urgently need the help of expert wildlife carers. These volunteer wildlife carers and advocates also urgently need financial support from government.”

Animal Liberation spokesperson Alex Vince confirmed, “the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), offered to pay at their own expense, for the services of a koala scat detection dog to help locate injured and displaced koalas, but this generous offer to the NSW Government was refused. And yet, recently, the federal government urgently flew detector dogs to the Northern Territory, at the expense of the public, to support efforts to help stop African Swine Fever from entering Australian shores.”

“Animal Liberation appreciates this is still an active fire ground under Section 44 management and is under control of the RFS Commissioner, however, we find it reprehensible and extremely distressing that NSW Forestry and NPWS are driving around monitoring the fire, and yet no-one is monitoring the urgent welfare needs of these koalas.”

“When Australians’ are suffering, we are an enormously generous nation in providing support and comfort for anyone displaced by fire or flood, and you can’t get much more Australian than our precious and iconic koalas and other unique native species. We can no longer ignore rapidly declining koala populations, habitat destruction and the immense suffering of these precious koalas. These koalas, wonderful volunteer wildlife carers and organisations, like NEFA, need urgent support and financial assistance now. Tomorrow may be too late and this would be forever, NSW’s shame.”

 

Contact: Alex | (02) 9262 3221