Baby koala shot 15 times

Who could be so cruel? Frodo baby koala that was blasted with a shotgun. Picture: Australia Zoo.

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

intestines.

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

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.’

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

here.’

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.

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