Koalas over-populating Great Ocean Road 'fell out of trees due to starvation'

The koalas were over-populated in the area.

The koalas were over-populated in the area. Photo: Supplied

A Cape Otway local says euthanising hundreds of koalas in the past two years was a humane way to end the suffering of the starving animals.

Over-population has led to the culling with the koalas captured, sedated and put down. 

Frank Fotinas, the owner of Bimbi Park, told Neil Mitchell it should have been done years ago.

"There's hundreds of acres of dead manna gums," he said.

"The euthanising was done because they were suffering and dying. The whole of the cape smelt of dead carcasses."

The state government says its relying on experts on what to do next as it's understood thousands more of the animals are in danger of starvation.

Koala expert Dr Desley Wisson says the cull was needed.

"Koalas had built up to quite high densities in manna gum areas in Cape Otway," she said.

"It got to the point where there were no leaves left on the trees they were literally falling out of trees due to starvation."

Dr Wisson said it was difficult to relocate koalas.

"It's actually not a very nice thing to move a koala; a lot of them will die (from stress) during the move," she said.

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