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IFAW is on the ground assisting our partner Mosswood Wildlife as hundreds of koalas are feared to be injured and killed following the bulldozing of a former blue gum plantation. Over the weekend of 1 February, a private land owner near Cape Bridgewater cleared his 60 hectare property to return it to grazing land. Unfortunately, many koalas were believed to have been present when the bulldozers moved in. Following the incident, animal rescuers and a forensics team searched the debris for survivors. At this time, 40 koalas have been confirmed dead and 80 injured, orphaned and starving animals have been brought to wildlife centers including a triage clinic that IFAW has been working to establish with Mosswood for immediate treatment and care.
In response to this tragedy, and thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters, our team is working in partnership with Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to provide additional support to our partners and friends at Mosswood Wildlife. We purchased emergency enclosures to house the influx of animals and deployed IFAW rehabbers to help with management of the triage centre. Our immediate concern is the welfare of the animals affected by this horrific incident and the welfare of rescuers, who are working day and night to rescue hundreds of animals.
IFAW has been working with Tracey Wilson of Mosswood Wildlife and Cheyne Flanagan from the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for many years on the welfare issues involved with koalas during the harvesting of blue gum plantations. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and support calls for thorough investigation and prosecutions for those found responsible.
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