Koala rescued in fire faces risky surgery

UPDATE @ 8:40 a.m. MT

As OCR said in a comment, during the surgery it was discovered that Sam had severe problems in her urinary and reproductive tract that were non-operable and had to be put to sleep.  CNN has more details HERE.


In February Wildfire Today reported on Sam, an injured koala that was rescued from from a fire in Australia by a firefighter. Here are the photos from the February articles:

Cheyenne Tree treats a Koala nicknamed Sam, saved from the bushfires in Gippsland, at the Mountain Ash Wildlife Center in Rawson, 100 miles (170 kilometers) east of Melbourne, Australia, where workers were scrambling to salve the wounds of possums, kangaroos and lizards Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. (AP photo)

Well, Sam is not doing well, but not because of the burns he suffered in the fire. From an AP report:

But shelter spokeswoman Peita Elkhorne said Wednesday that Sam had developed abdominal cysts due to a disease called urogenital chlamydiosis, which affects up to 50 percent of Australia’s koala population. The disease can cause infertility, urinary tract infections and blindness and can be life-threatening.

Sam will undergo surgery on Thursday and the prognosis for surviving the operation is not good, Elkhorne said.

“We’re telling the public to brace for the worst-case scenario,” she said.

Elkhorne said Sam was “comfortable” but that a decision was made to try to remove the cysts because the disease can kill koalas.

She said Sam’s prospects would be known by Friday.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.