Close to 700 koalas have been killed off by authorities in southeastern Australia because overpopulation led to the animals starving, an official said Wednesday, sparking claims of mismanagement. Victoria state Environment Minister Lisa Neville said the koalas were euthanised around Cape Otway near the scenic tourist drawcard the Great Ocean Road, in 2013 and 2014, with a caravan site owner saying the whole area "smelt like death" before they were put down. "The intervention was necessary to prevent suffering of koalas because they weren't able to find enough food," Neville said in a statement. Neville said 686 koalas were found to be in poor health and were humanely killed by veterinarians in consultation with koala experts and animal welfare personnel. The minister said she was seeking expert advice on how to manage the issue and wanted to be open with the community on the process, but has not ruled out further similar operations. "Experience suggests that moving these koalas does not work and that can in fact cause even greater suffering," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "We need to have a look at a koala management strategy to see whether we can reduce that population growth which continues at a very fast pace." Despite the koala population in Cape Otway booming, the much-loved furry animal has been under increasing threat in recent decades elsewhere, particularly from habitat loss, disease, dog attacks and bushfires. The Australian Koala Foundation, which estimates there are now less than 100,000 of the unique animals in the wild, blamed long-term mismanagement for the deaths at Cape Otway. "What they have done is shocking," said chief executive Deborah Tabart. "Why did they let it happen in the first place? I think the government should hang its head in shame." - Starvation 'horrific to witness' - The Cape Otway population has grown since koalas were relocated there from French Island, off Victoria, in the 1980s, said Deakin University expert Desley Whisson. French Island had been a safe haven for the animals when they were driven to near extinction by hunting for their pelts in the early 1900s. But by the 1980s, the population was getting too big and some were moved to Cape Otway and elsewhere. But with no natural predators, such as wedge-tailed eagles, or bushfires which would otherwise have kept populations under control, the numbers proliferated. Frank Fotinas, who runs the Bimbi Park Caravan Park at Cape Otway, said before the killings, the whole of the cape smelled of dead koalas. "It smelled like death," he told the ABC, adding that the animals had stripped the trees bare in the hunt for food. Whisson, who was involved in last year's operation, said the koala management was never done in secret and nor was it a cull, which is illegal for koalas in Australia. "It was putting koalas out of their misery," she told AFP, adding that she believed there could easily have been a further two koalas put down at the time for every one killed. Whisson said that ahead of the operation overpopulation had become acute in the area, with 15 of the 20 animals she was radio tracking at the time dying of starvation. "It was horrific to witness," she said. While Whisson had no doubt koala numbers were in decline in states such as Queensland and New South Wales due to development and habitat loss, she said it was different at Cape Otway.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Will Smith reveals that he and Jada Pinkett Smith decided at one point in their marriage that they would no longer be monogamous: 'Marriage for us can't be a prison'
Will Smith "delicately explained" in a new GQ interview that Jada Pinkett Smith wasn't "the only one engaging in other sexual relationships."
- The Daily Beast
Mash/TwitterA Russian fitness coach’s rescue attempt of a friend trapped in churning Mediterranean waters turned deadly after both were swept out to sea—as the entire tragedy unfolded on video, captured by the coach’s distressed wife. The horrifying footage subsequently went viral on Russian social media, even as the coach’s family has been scrambling to secure permission to travel to Spain for his cremation.On Sept. 23, Daniil Gagarin, 30, traveled to a stretch of jagged cliffs known as La Zorr
Kristi Noem tried not to directly address the issue.
Dua brought the vibe into 2021 with a visible thong/bra combo that gave—well, everything I needed it to give on this Monday.
Here's where Jamie Lynn stands in Britney's legal battle with their father.
The North Port Police Department responded to a 911 call from Laundrie's family on Saturday reporting that the reality TV star was on their property.
- Good Housekeeping
'Jeopardy!' legend James Holzhauer tweeted a message about current 'Jeopardy!' champion Matt Amodio and fans of the beloved ABC game show had mixed feelings about the exchange.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty ImagesAs the morgues and ICUs in Idaho overflow with COVID patients, Republican Governor Brad Little said he would fine businesses with over 100 employees if they enacted a mask mandate.It’s an insane stance rooted in his desire not to give his challenger, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, any cause to attack him as she guns for his job.Dying people be damned, as Republicans turn against each other in contests up and down the ballot and across the coun
- NBC Sports BayArea
Rumors swirled about their relationship throughout the week, and their brief postgame meeting at midfield didn't help matters.
I mean...fair enough TBH!
- Lions Wire
The NFL cannot hide from another officiating error that directly costs the Lions a win
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
Check out what some European writers had to say about the weekend at Whistling Straits.
- Charlotte Observer
The Hornets’ coach was asked Monday about LiAngelo Ball’s absence from the training camp roster.
The Pitch Perfect star has lost more than 60 lbs. after revamping her diet and exercise habits
- The Weather Network
A major pattern change is set to sweep much of the country, with some very sharp reversals of fortune in some cases.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Jimmie Ward remained steadfast in his belief that his hit on Davante Adams was clean. And replays back that stance.
Chuba Hubbard is the top waiver wire target in fantasy football this week, but if you can't snag him, there are plenty of other solid options.
- The Weather Network
Hurricane Sam is maintaining status quo as a Category 4 hurricane and will experience some fluctuations in strength in the next day or so before some weakening occurs.
- The Guardian
The Pittsburgh Steelers hoped the quarterback’s experience and savvy would be enough for one final playoff run. That theory looks seriously misguided Ben Roethlisberger reflects on Sunday’s loss to the Bengals. Photograph: Gene J Puskar/AP The only thing more painful than moving on from a franchise quarterback too quickly is holding on to one too long. Three weeks into the season, it has become painfully clear that the Pittsburgh Steelers miscalculated in bringing back Ben Roethlisberger for one
- The Telegraph
A totally dominant American team hammered Europe to win the Ryder Cup in a record winning margin on Sunday. Padraig Harrington was at the helm of Europe's crushing loss - and Telegraph Sport looks at seven key areas where the Irishman could have done better.