Monday, November 8, 2010

Fury as orphaned koala fights for her life after being shot 15 times


Critical condition: Tiny Frodo was blasted from a tree with a shotgun, but survived the attack. Vets say it is still touch and go

Queensland police are continuing investigations into a shooting attack on a baby koala after it was found riddled with pellets beside its dead mother.

The tiny animal, nicknamed Frodo, received a fractured skull, and gun pellets were found scattered throughout her body, damaging her intestines.

The shooting took place at at the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, and although the mother was killed, vets are doing all they can to save her baby.

Cruel: The koala has 15 pellets embedded in her body but amazingly is clinging onto life. Vets will try to remove more pellets if they feel Frodo is strong enough

Vets at the zoo said it was touch and go whether Frodo, who was blasted from a tree with a shotgun on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, will survive.
Stomach and intestinal perforations have been repaired and three pellets removed, including from the skull, but a further 12 remain.

'She's in a critical condition, but if she can be stabilised she will undergo further surgery to remove pellets and repair damage,' said vet Amber Gillett.

Miss Gillet said Frodo was receiving intravenous antibiotics, fluids and pain relief, as well as blood transfusions.

'We are stunned to see this kind of animal cruelty and cannot begin to fathom why somebody would want to shoot a koala that poses no threat to them,' she added.

Tender loving care: Staff at the vetinary hospital have been giving Frodo intravenous antibiotics, fluids and pain relief, as well as blood transfusions in an attempt to keep her alive

Callous attack: The defenceless animal rests after surgery to remove some of the pellets. Vets are hoping her condition will stabilise enough for further surgery

Mr Mark Townend, a senior officer with the RSPCA, said his organisation would provide any help needed to search for the culprit and bring cruelty charges.

Outraged Australians have called for the person who shot the koalas to receive the same punishment.

Koalas were declared a protected species in the 1930s, after their numbers fell dramatically due to the fur trade. and deliberate killing of koalas become extinct in the state of South Australia.

Scores of people sent their good wishes to Frodo, saying they hoped she would pull through.

Frodo remains in a critical condition at a wildlife hospital on the Sunshine Coast.

The maximum penalty for shooting a koala is a $225,000 fine or two years in jail.

source: dailymail

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