News

AIDS-like virus killing local koala population

GRIM FUTURE: A male koala at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital suffering from the retrovirus. The virus has escalated in Ipswich.
GRIM FUTURE: A male koala at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital suffering from the retrovirus. The virus has escalated in Ipswich. Contributed

DESPITE their best efforts, this little boy had to be put to sleep by veterinarians at the RSPCA's Wildlife Animal Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Staff didn't even have time to name him - they knew his battle against the deadly retrovirus, or "koala AIDS" - was already over.

RSPCA Queensland media spokesman Michael Beatty says the virus usually lies dormant in most Queensland koala populations but is now being seen more often.

"There has been a lot of research into what has caused this which suggests it is caused by increased stress because of habitat destruction and dog attacks," Mr Beatty said. "Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome (KIDS) is an AIDS-like virus that leaves koalas more susceptible to disease and cancers."

RSPCA Wacol wildlife vet nurse Madeline Rienecker said there was still more research about retrovirus to be done. She said the main reason it was more prevalent was due to habitat fragmentation.

"In a way, it's kind of like AIDS so death does not usually occur directly from retrovirus - rather it comes from secondary infections like chlamydia," Ms Rienecker said. "We can't really prevent the spread."

Ipswich City Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said council was committed to the protection and preservation of local koalas.

"An area of more than 225sq km or 21% of all land across the city is protected under the Ipswich Planning Scheme as conservation zones," Cr Tully said.

"A further 71sq km of green space is also protected through recreation and other open space zones."

Cr Tully said council is currently reviewing the Ipswich Nature Conservation Strategy which will include measures for future koala habitat management and protection.

"Landholders can seek guidance from koala groups such as Ipswich Koala Protection Society and Australian Koala Foundation on how to reduce threats to koalas on their properties," he said.

If you find a sick or injured koala put a washing basket or box over them and phone the RSPCA or a wildlife carer

Phone the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL, the Ipswich Koala Protection Society on 0417604761, FAUNA on 1300328621, ONARR on 30302245, ARROW on 0430904415 or Queensland Parks and Wildlife on 1300130372

Topics:  koalas conservation




'I just wanted it to end': Pingel on Raceway crash

Brendon Pingel's terrifying rollover in the Aussie Racing Cars at Queensland Raceway.

VIDEO: 'I just wanted it to end': Brendon Pingel speaks of crash

Five projects Ipswich needs over the next five years

No Caption

THERE'S no shortage of projects pitched to drive the region forward.

Judge: Baden-Clay's problems only solved by Allison's death

Gerard Baden-Clay

'Only an altercation that results in death solves his problem'

Latest deals and offers

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

Prince Harry regrets not talking about Diana's death

Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a ride on the Maid of Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., in this Oct., 1991, with her sons Prince Harry, then 7, and Prince William, then 9.

The royal was 12 years old when his mother was killed

Oh Kim, be careful with the spray tan when breast feeding

Kim Kardashian West accidentally smothered North's face in fake tan

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley