Koalas gummed up by the flu

Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

A WILDLIFE park in South Australia has sus­pended visi­tors be­ing pho­tographed with koalas be­cause three-quar­ters of the an­i­mals are bat­tling the flu.

In June, all 57 koalas at Cle­land Wildlife Park in the Ade­laide Hills were quar­an­tined.

It was hoped the cud­dly at­trac­tions would be healthy enough for “close up” ex­pe­ri­ences by mid-July but, apart from three days, they have re- mained out of bounds. An En­vi­ron­ment Depart­ment spokes­woman said most of the koalas had ex­pe­ri­enced flu­like symp­toms on and off over re­cent weeks.

They have since been kept un­der strict quar­an­tine.

“Symp­toms are coughs, snif­fles, and nasal dis­charge,” the spokes­woman said.

“Some koalas are still dis­play.

“The cold and wet weather on over the past few months has prob­a­bly hin­dered their re­cov­ery and we hope that all the koalas will re­turn to full health, and pub­lic dis­play, soon.”

Rolling Stones gui­tarist Ron­nie Wood, Grammy award-win­ning singer Mariah Carey, Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and Green Day drum­mer Tre Cool are among celebri­ties to be pho­tographed hold­ing koalas at the park.

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