Investigation into koala deaths in southwest Victoria

The Conservation Regulator is seeking public information after 13 koalas were found dead at a blue gum plantation site near Hamilton in the State’s southwest.

Thursday, 16 June 2022 at 11:09 pm
A Magistrate said clearing at the Cape Bridgewater property likely could have caused unreasonable pain or suffering to that property’s koala population.

An investigation is underway after the plantation operator alerted the Conservation Regulator to the bodies on Tuesday.

The Conservation Regulator is investigating a range of possible causes of death, which could include environmental or human factors. Officers are awaiting the results of a necropsy assessment to help determine the cause of death.

The koala bodies were found in an unharvested area of the plantation and were at varying stages of decomposition.

The maximum penalty for the destruction of protected wildlife is $9,087 and/or six months in prison.

Anyone with information about this incident or other wildlife crimes can make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000.

Koalas, like all native wildlife, are protected in Victoria and we are following all lines of inquiry to better understand when, where and how these koalas died.

We encourage members of the public who may have information about wildlife crimes to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, as even a small amount of information may lead to a successful outcome.

Ash Bunce
Conservation Regulator Victoria