Australian Koalas May Need to be Killed

By Anthony Zurcher

Researchers are suggesting an extreme measure to save koala populations in many parts of Australia: a widespread culling. Over half the koala population is infected with the chlamydia disease, with antibiotics providing little help. As the disease continues to spread, scientists have come up with a controversial strategy. Systematic targeting and culling could “paradoxically lead to an increase in population size” of koalas over the next ten years by removing those koalas spreading the disease. As one researcher puts it, “these koalas are in a lot of pain and the humane thing to do is probably to euthanize them.” Killing koalas will undoubtedly provoke a reaction, but it may be the only chance at saving this endangered species.