“Chris” the koala has been killed by a domestic dog
“Chris” the koala has been killed by a domestic dog

Orphaned koala killed by domestic dog

A KOALA being tracked by Sunshine Coast Council has been killed by what is thought to be a domestic dog this week.

The koala, known as Chris, had been fitted with a tracking collar.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said dog owners had to take greater responsibility for their pets to ensure they were not harming wildlife.

"Sadly, results from an autopsy indicates a young male koala council has been tracking was attacked and killed by what we believe to be a domestic dog," Cr McKay said. 

"We first came upon the koala named Chris around 18 months ago when his mother was hit by a car and he was taken to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. 

"After more than a year of dedicated care, a young healthy Chris was released back to the wild in January to start his new life as a young adult.  

"Chris was fitted with a tracking collar to help the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and researchers to track the progress of koalas after they have been released from care.  

"Having closely studied Chris's every movement over many months, it was understandably quite heartbreaking to learn of the manner in which he died."

Cr McKay said the tragedy should serve to raise awareness about pet owner responsibility in relation to the damage their animals can do wildlife.

"Our tracking data has shown that koalas frequently incorporate private properties into their home ranges with little awareness of the dangers posed by unrestrained dogs,'' she said.  

"The simple act of tying your dogs up or enclosing them in smaller yards at night can significantly reduce the risk to koalas and other wildlife on your property." 

For further information about council's Koala Conservation Plan visit council's website.

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