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Alleged ‘koala massacre’ prompts hundreds of animal cruelty charges

According to a statement from Victoria state’s Conservation Regulator, 21 koalas were found dead and dozens more injured at a timber plantation in Cape Bridgewater, about 377 kilometers (234 miles) southwest of the state capital, Melbourne, in February 2020.

Authorities euthanized 49 of the wounded koalas, with many suffering from starvation, dehydration and fractures, the statement said.

A man and an earthmoving company are accused of causing “unreasonable pain or suffering to dozens of koalas,” the statement said. “They are also charged with destroying koalas which are a protected species.”

They face a total of 126 charges each, including 18 aggravated cruelty charges for allegedly causing fatal injuries. One cruelty charge was laid against a separate contracting business for allegedly disturbing the koala population. The statement did not name those accused.

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