RIP Sam the Koala

Sam the KoalaBack in February, we blogged the story of Sam, the little koala who made front page news during the devastating wildfires in Australia. Sam had warmed hearts worldwide when she was photographed drinking from a water bottle offered by a rescuer.

At the Southern Ash Wildlife Centre, where Sam was recovering, she took a liking to Bob the koala, who was also at the shelter.

Sam was euthanized today during surgery to treat abdominal cysts that had developed. The painful scarring was too widespread for a cure to be possible.

Cysts affect 50% of the Australian koala population, and are the leading cause of death. They are brought on by stress.

Deborah Tabart, CEO of the Australian Koala Foundation, said she was saddened by Sam’s death but noted that thousands of other koalas die every year of the disease and are not lamented nor cared for by the government.

“Sam’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Tabart said. “Sam’s doing her wild cousins a huge favour by this international interest. Our koalas are in serious trouble across the country.”

Thanks to IslandMeri:

Koala Koala – we love you
But we chop down your home
And you run
Koala, Koala – where do you go
When we take your gum tree away

Please don’t run on the road
And please don’t cry
Help is on its way
We’re gonna learn what makes you die
Gonna send in some money today

You can’t dig a hole
Or live in a roof
Or hang from a big, fig tree
If I plant you a special Eucalypt
Will you come and live with me

Koalas they used to be everywhere
What a paradise it could be
A walk in the bush could be heaven
Bring the dreamtime back to me

Yeah, we’re going to learn what makes you die
Gonna send in some money today

Canaries in the mine…

Full story at Toronto Star.

Koala Koala Lyrics by John Williamson

John Williamson’s website


One response to “RIP Sam the Koala

  1. If nothing convinces you, please listen to John Williamson’s tribute to koalas, like Sam, and other wildlife that are pretty soon not going to be wildlife to enjoy or to speak of.

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