The Koala Park Sanctuary, now known as ‘Australia’s saddest zoo’, is facing court on seven charges of alleged animal neglect, with a maximum penalty of $27,500 per charge.
Koala Sanctuary Facing Cruelty Charges
The privately owned and run wildlife park located at West Pennant Hills in Sydney Australia has come into disrepute since 2010 for neglect and abuse of it’s animals. A court hearing due on February 2, 2016 will determine the fate of the business and the animals it keeps.
The RSPCA charged Koala Park Sanctuary after an inspector found five koalas that showed signs of being ‘infected with chlamydia, with one male described in court documents as ’emaciated’ and suffering from dehydration.
This follows a report in 2010 by the Department of Primary Industries, which found ageing and dirty animal exhibits, drainage problems and out-of-date records.
The group have pleaded guilty to at least some of the charges.
A petition has been created requesting that Minister Blair cancel the parks licence and relocate the animals to appropriate caregivers.
The petition has garnered over 25k signatures, and states:
“How ironic that one of Australia’s oldest animal parks, Koala Park Sanctuary in the north-western Sydney suburb of west Pennant Hills which is home to koalas, emus, kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, penguins, dingoes, native birds and reptiles; has long since become a nightmare for their animals and for anyone who loves our iconic Australian wildlife.
Far from providing refuge, it is the animal equivalent of an internment camp with living condition at the Sanctuary being abysmal. Throughout the zoo, there are scenes of sick and distressed animals living in poor conditions; emaciated, depressed, dehydrated and not moving in their dusty and smelly stretch of dirt which is their home.”