Woman caught koala-handed

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

AUS­TRALIAN po­lice un­cov­ered a baby koala hid­den in the bag of a woman they stopped in the street.

The 50-year-old, who was be­ing spo­ken to on un­re­lated mat­ters on Novem­ber 6, stunned Bris­bane of­fi­cers when she re­vealed she had the crea­ture in her can­vas satchel.

“Not quite be­liev­ing their ears, the of­fi­cers cau­tiously un­zipped the bag and found this gor­geous boy,” Queens­land po­lice said.

“The koala – be­lieved to be about six months of age – seemed to be in good health, although a bit de­hy­drated.”

The woman claimed she found the joey, which is pro­tected un­der the Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion Act, on Satur­day night and had been car­ing for it since.

The mar­su­pial was handed to the RSPCA, an an­i­mal pro­tec­tion char­ity, which named him Al­fred.

“He’s been on flu­ids but is do­ing well and will shortly be go­ing out to a carer,” said RSPCA spokesper­son Michael Beatty.

The woman was sub­se­quently ar­rested over “out­stand­ing mat­ters”, po­lice said.

The much-loved koala has been un­der in­creas­ing threat across Aus­tralia in re­cent decades, par­tic­u­larly from habi­tat loss, dis­ease, dog at­tacks and bush­fires.

A 2012 na­tional count placed to­tal koala num­bers at 330,000, though their tree-top habi­tat makes ac­cu­rate as­sess­ment dif­fi­cult.

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