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Why are hundreds of koalas being taken from their homes and killed?

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700 koalas were secretly euthanized due to overpopulation in Australia

700 koalas were taken from their homes and killed over a six month period in Australia. Put in secret culls, the authorities claim the heinous act was done to prevent overpopulation.

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Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From September 2013 to March 2014, a colony of koala in the gum woodlands at Cape Otway, 140-miles out of Melbourne, large groups of koalas were secretly sedated, assessed by veterinarians and then euthanized with lethal injections, according to The Telegraph.

Those in charge of the mission claim the koalas were largely overpopulated and had begun to starve and fall out of the trees.

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"It got to the point where there were no leaves left on the trees and the koalas were literally falling out of trees," explained Desley Whisson, a koala expert at Deakin University. "They were dying of starvation. It's actually not a very nice thing to move a koala; a lot of them will actually die [from stress] during that process."

According to The Australian newspaper, "the koala densities were up to 11 per hectare in the area, compared with sustainable rates of fewer than one koala per hectare across the state of Victoria."

The total koala population in Australia decreased by millions in the early 2000s; the marsupials went from millions to 50,000 to 100,000.

Koala's are often victims to hunters, new diseases and development on natural habitats.

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"A lot more were dying naturally than were euthanized," explained Frank Fotinas, employee at Cape Otway and supporter of the cull. "It smelt like death. You should come and look at the trees. There are hundreds of acres of dead trees."

According to the state government, no more of the secret culls will be allowed and prevention on further suffering will be consulted with biodiversity experts.

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