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Euthanasia of a Koala at Ocean Park

2017-10-17

Ocean Park is saddened to announce the euthanasia of a five-year-old male koala ‘Sora’ this afternoon.
 
In May 2017, Sora was diagnosed with a serious respiratory infection that was eventually resolved, but unfortunately Sora’s body was weakened by the disease, which led to irreversible gradual deterioration of vital functions. While the Park’s animal care team was able to offer Sora constant supportive and palliative care around the clock to allow for satisfactory welfare over the past few months, on 16 October, his vital functions were observed to have reached a level incompatible with quality of life and satisfactory welfare, signifying that a humane endpoint had been reached. In line with veterinary ethics, animal welfare, and the approved euthanasia policy of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and in order to prevent unnecessary suffering to Sora, the Park’s veterinarians recommended euthanasia for the koala, a decision supported by Osaka Tennoji Zoo in Japan, Cleland Wildlife Park in South Australia, and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). 
 
Ms. Suzanne Gendron, Executive Director of Zoological Operations & Conservation, said, “Ocean Park has been closely engaged with Tennoji Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park  to provide the best husbandry and veterinary treatment for Sora, and we are deeply saddened that this unfortunate outcome could not be avoided despite our joint efforts. Sora arrived at the Park from Tennoji Zoo in July last year and his adorable presence has gained the love of our guests and animal keepers instantly. Sora will be missed, and we thank him for being our animal ambassador to help us raise public awareness in the importance of protecting wild koalas and their natural habitats.”
 
Dr Kazutoshi Takami, Veterinarian of Tennoji Zoo, said, “We are sorry to see the passing of Sora, despite the immense amount of effort Ocean Park’s professional and experienced animal care team has put into treating and caring for him.”
 
Currently, there are two koalas residing at Adventures in Australia, including male koala ‘Dougie’ and female ‘Yani’, who both came from Cleland Wildlife Park in October 2014.
 
The Tennoji Zoo, Cleland Wildlife Park and AFCD were notified of the incident.