on air now

Is it illegal to cuddle a koala?

This morning someone called the Rumour File to report that there is a new Victorian tourism campaign showing a retired tennis player holding a koala, which the caller believed was illegal.

Ross and John asked Desley Whisson, koala expert at Deakin University, if that is the case in Victoria.

“No, it’s not illegal, however it is illegal to harass a native animal,” she said.

“Really you shouldn’t be touching any native animal unless you’re permitted to do so in a wildlife park or under those sort of special circumstances.”

“It’s really hard to know if an animal is actually stressed about you being there, so it’s just common sense really,” Ms Whisson said.

Press PLAY below to hear Ross and John’s full chat with koala expert Desley Whisson.