It’s hard to recall a week of such high emotion – first my dear mate, photographer Peter Carrette died, then all the New Zealand miners were declared dead while I was covering that story and finally came the amazingly good news that three young lads, missing at sea for an incredible 50 days have been found alive.
Outraged Australians have called for the person who shot a baby koala
up to 15 times to receive the same punishment.
The tiny animal, nicknamed Frodo, remains in a critical condition in
the late Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo after it was found riddled with
pellets beside its dead mother.
The joey – as baby koalas are called – received a fractured skull and
gun pellets were found scattered throughout her body, damaging her
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.
‘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
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.’
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.
‘I just can’t believe the ratbags we’ve had to deal with over the
past 12 months.
‘We’ve spent a lot of money on education about animal welfare. If
people don’t like animals why don’t they just leave them alone – they
don’t have to shoot them.’
Sickened Australians have taken their comments further, one writer to
a newspaper’s comment pages saying: ‘Shoot the idiot who did this 15
times. See how they like it.’
Anne of Brisbane said: ‘This is absolutely disgusting. Those poor
defenceless koalas. Whatever did they do wrong? There are some really
sick people around.’
One writer was determined to take the law into his own hands.
He said he was from that area and ‘if you, the perpetrator are
reading this, if I find you first I am going to ensure your “heroic”
act does not go unpunished. Mark my words, it’s a very small place up
Another commentator said: ‘Words cannot express…these people do not
deserve to live.’
Yet another wrote: ‘Speechless and disgusted at these people’s
actions. I can’t believe you are allowed to walk this earth with us.
Your day will come.’
Scores of people sent their good wishes to Frodo, saying they hoped
she would pull through.
* UPDATE: Surgeons have removed about half of the 15 pellets but admit that it’s ‘touch and go’ whether baby Frodo will survive.
The big fear is that she will succumb to lead poisoning. In the meantime, they are taking the pellets from her at the rate of a few at a time so as to not stress her.
Here’s a handy, if not pretty darn obvious, tip should you be confronted with the same stuff-up as me when booking your holiday or business hotel room online: take photographs of everything that moves!