Sunday, 5 June 2016

Koala Park law suit sends out a reminder to us all

I do not advocate the closing of all zoos and animal sanctuaries. Many, if not most, genuinely care for the animals in their care and do some wonderful work in preserving threatened species.

In February this year Koala Park in West Pennant Hills was fined $75,000 for failing to provide veterinary treatment and banned from acquiring new koalas for six months after it was taken to court by the RSPCA.

The other day I came across this letter from Doris Charles of Brisbane to Berenice in 1983 about the park:

Recently I visited a nearby wildlife park, advertised mainly as a Koala Sanctuary.

I was disgusted and upset by the condition of the dingoes there.

Their ears were in a shocking state from fly bite. One in particular seemed to be very distressed.

I phoned the Sanctuary the next day to ask if the Dingoes were getting treatment for their ears. The Manager was ‘not available', but the person I spoke to said that they were not getting treatment because no one could catch them, but they were being sprayed with a contact spray for fleas and flies.

This was not good enough, so I phoned the RSPCA. They sent an official to investigate, and I was told that one of the Dingoes was to be put down.

I also asked this person if the Dingoes were getting treatment for their ears. He said that they were (just whom does one believe).

I also asked if he could tell me if the animals in such parks are ever checked by a vet. He said that all animals in the parks are supposed to be checked by a vet once a month.

If that is so, then he must have walked past the Dingoes for many months.

It makes one wonder how often, even if ever, some zoos and sanctuaries provide appropriate veterinary care for their animals and how long before ill-treatment and neglect is reported.

We all have a duty to question and report anything we see at zoos and sanctuaries that gives the slightest indication the animals are not happy and healthy.

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