Koala clings to tree as loggers cut it down in devastating clip

This is the devastating moment a frightened koala was seen desperately clinging to a tree that was being violently cut down by loggers.

The heartbreaking clip was captured over two days in November 2023 and again in January 2024 on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Kilometres of unwanted blue gum trees were in the process of being cleared, which has already left large numbers of koalas dead, according to The Guardian.

In the clip, desperate koalas can be seen clinging to their homes as loggers hack at them with machinery from below, with the marsupials either plummeting to the ground or going down with the tree.

Heartbreaking footage emerges of Koalas clinging to trees as their homes are destroyed

The distressing footage has sparked widespread outrage, with wildlife campaigners speaking out against the destruction.

It is understood that all logging has been stopped while an investigation takes place.

Ex-employees of the company managing the plantation estate, Australian Agribusiness Group, told The Guardian that they tried to save at least 40 injured koalas and saw about 20 that had been killed as the logging was carried out.

They described injuries including broken skulls, jaws, arms and hips.

Injured koalas were taken to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network, a volunteer organisation that rescues and rehabilitates injured and sick animals.

The organisation’s president, Katie Welz, told the outlet earlier this month that 21 koalas had to be euthanised due to the severity of their injuries.

“We have koalas being injured, orphaned, displaced and killed by logging practices on a weekly basis and we are frustrated and astounded at the lack of guidance from government on this issue,” she said.

In a statement, she explained that she was “frustrated and angry” and that the video had “made her cry”.

“This is not about politics, it’s about animal welfare,” she told the Daily Mail.

“The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network is extremely concerned about the issues impacting wildlife in blue gum plantations.

“We have studied the plantation’s ‘Koala Management Plan’ and while ambitious, it is mostly unachievable.

“Currently, the toll of the harvesting on the welfare of the koala population is unacceptably high.

“Our goal is to work with the plantations and regulatory bodies to develop a plan that facilitates the clearing of the blue gum trees without causing extreme injury and death to the wildlife.

“We hope that by shining a light on the impact this is having on the koalas, it will encourage all relevant parties to come together to ensure that the plantations are cleared safely and the impact on all species, who currently live in these areas, is lessened.”

According to Global Forest Watch, Kangaroo Island lost 122 kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 66 per cent decrease, from 2001 to 2022.

A Change.org petition was started at the beginning of March and has already reached over 1,400 signatures.

“I am deeply concerned about the survival of our beloved koalas, a species that is already endangered,” the petition read.

“The ongoing logging activities on Kangaroo Island are posing a serious threat to their existence.

“Not only is this my personal fear, but it’s a concern shared by many who don’t want to see koalas become extinct.

“Kangaroo Island, known for its rich biodiversity, has been home to these adorable creatures for years. However, the relentless logging activities are destroying their habitat at an alarming rate.

“According to the Australian Koala Foundation, there are less than 100,000 koalas left in the wild today. If we allow this deforestation to continue unchecked on Kangaroo Island and other parts of Australia, we risk losing these animals forever.

“It’s high time we take action against such practices that endanger our wildlife and disrupt ecological balance.

“We must urge authorities and corporations involved in logging operations on Kangaroo Island to halt their activities immediately and adopt sustainable methods that do not harm our environment or its inhabitants.”

News.com.au has reached out to Australian Agribusiness Group for comment.

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