Friday, August 07, 2009

Celebrity koala's sad end

You might remember this photo from my post back in February:

A koala with badly burned paws from the terrible bushfires which devastated Victoria taking water from a firefighter.

She was treated an animal hospital and recovered well from that ordeal.

But now ABC has reported:

Sam the koala, made famous by footage of her drinking from a firefighter's water bottle during Victoria's bushfires, has died.

The badly burned koala became a symbol of hope for the survivors of the deadly bushfires that killed 173 people and left 7,500 homeless.

But just months after her rescue from the fires, Sam was diagnosed with cysts linked to the life-threatening disease chlamydia that has ravaged the koala population.

The four-year-old koala was due to have surgery on Thursday to remove the cysts but John Butler of the Morwell Vet Clinic discovered Sam had severe changes in her urinary and reproductive tract that were non-operable.

"Unfortunately Sam has been put to sleep. It's very, very sad," said Peita Elkhorne of TressCox Lawyers on behalf of the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter.

"It was so severe that there was no possible way to be able to manage her pain."

A sad end to what was a heartwarming story.

The ABC report is here.


the real nick said...

Chlamydia? What have those Sheilas been doing to the poor bears?!

Bush Mechanic said...

He's almost stuffed now...

"BUSHFIRE legend Sam the koala will be preserved and displayed in the Melbourne Museum as a symbol of February's devastating fires"

The Herald-Sun 7 Aug, Melbourne