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Overpopulation of Cape Otway koalas leads to famine fears

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 10 October, 2012 - 2:42 PM

An overpopulation of koalas in Cape Otway has sparked fears they'll starve to death, with the population of animals unable to be culled due to its protected status.

80 koalas were relocated to the area from French Island in 1980, with the population now ballooning to several thousand.

The koalas have stripped the trees bare, prompting concerns they may starve to death.

The owner of Bimbi Park camping site, Frank Fontinas, told Ross and John the koalas population in the area had become a major problem, with the native creatures taking a particular liking to the Coastal Manna Gum trees.

"They are a lot of them that are weak at the moment, but they're not to the point where they're all weak,” he said.

"It's very hard to say (to) cull (them) because they're beautiful animals...We have to help them because they're just going to starve to death.”

Mr Fontinas said the Colac Otway Shire Council had come out to investigate the, but he said they were unable to act as they had ‘their hands tied’.

”Whoever you talk to, they put it in the too-hard basket,” he said.

”No one does anything about it.”

LISTEN: Bimbi Park owner Frank Fontinas speaks with Ross and John:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • I saw the problem today 31/10/12, and immediately thought of the same one that SA has with Koalas on Kangaroo Island. The politically correct answer given when I enquired at the lightstation reception was that "they'll move on". My answer being they'll have to, but where can they go. Perhaps mans interference has STUFFED up again.

    Wayne Wednesday 31 October, 2012 - 11:06 PM
  • If you read the interview above I did not say CULL. I am against culling. I would like to see tree banding (to protect mature trees), planting and moving koalas to other type of gum trees in the area. Please email me the link where i said WE SHOULD CULL (KILL) THE KOALAS. Frank Bimbi Park.

    Frank Fotinas Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 8:46 PM
  • Last month I took my Canadian relatives to see the koalas at the Cape, they were thrilled to see so many beautiful animals, as was I. We certainly noted that the trees were bare! But killing them isn't the answer!! When humans are starving, do we cull them? We are all animals, and we as the smarter of the two should be coming up with a solution, and in the meantime, supplement their food. This is a rare animal, only known to Australia, of course it should be protected, bloody well quit thinking killing is the only answer!

    priscilla devon Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 8:42 PM
  • Having translocated these chlamydia free island koalas to many location, including into NSW, because they were defoliating trees, it's a shame the Victorian Government didn't consider the outcomes of their actions.

    Similarly their opposition to listing koalas as vulnerable nationally, seems aimed at distracting from their poor management.

    Robert Bertram Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 9:18 AM
  • On the news Frank Fontinas from Bimbi Park called for a cull of these beautiful creatures, How dare he, what gives him the right? to suggest such a drastic action, the Koalas were released there after being moved from French Island, they can be rehoused again, I wish insensitive human beings would stop thinking that killing everything will cure everything, it makes me disgusted.

    Victoria Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 6:28 PM
  • Call Parks Victoria give them something to think about culling is not the answer that's a redneck way of thinking we are going backwards in this country its a worry.

    mandy Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 4:48 PM

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