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Update on Hamilton koala deaths investigation

The Conservation Regulator is continuing its investigation into koalas found dead at a blue gum plantation near Hamilton last month.

Monday 11 July 2022 12:02am
A Magistrate said clearing at the Cape Bridgewater property likely could have caused unreasonable pain or suffering to that property’s koala population.

Results from a necropsy did not provide a conclusive cause of death. X-rays were taken before the necropsy and ruled out any trauma, including fractures or broken bones, and there was no evidence of gun shots.

Since the initial reports of 13 koala bodies on 14 June, 3 more dead koalas have been found in an unharvested area of the site, also at varying stages of decomposition. It’s believed the bodies ranged between two weeks and twelve months dead.

The Conservation Regulator is still investigating a range of possible causes of death, which could include environmental or human factors. The absence of any trauma together with the pathology results suggest the deaths could be the result of environmental factors.

The maximum penalty for the destruction of protected wildlife is $9,246 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.

We are following all avenues of inquiry in this investigation to determine what happened to these koalas.

If anyone knows anything about these koala deaths, they can report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Ash Bunce
Conservation Regulator Director Regulatory Operations
Conservation Regulator Victoria

Reviewed 11 July 2022

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