A five-year-old male koala was euthanised today at Ocean Park. Named Sora, the koala had been in the park’s Adventures in Australia exhibit since it arrived from Tennoji Zoo in Osaka, Japan, in July last year. He was diagnosed with a serious respiratory infection, which had healed by May this year. However, the infection left his body weakened so much despite months of care from Ocean Park's veterinarians, it was determined Sora should be humanely euthanised to end his unnecessary suffering.
The decision was approved by Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, as well as Tennoji Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park in South Australia, where Ocean Park’s remaining two koalas are from.
Sora, a descendant of koalas from the state of Victoria in Australia, was the second koala at Adventures in Australia to be put to sleep since the attraction was opened in March 2015.
In March last year, three-year-old female southern koala Merinda was euthanised due to kidney failure brought on by oxalate nephrosis, an disease commonly seen in the species. A course of action recommended by a veterinarian from Cleland Wildlife Park, where Merinda was born.
The park’s two remaining southern koalas, male Dougie and female Yani, both joined Ocean Park from Cleland Wildlife Park in October 2014.
Suzanne Gendron, Ocean Park’s executive director of zoological operations and conservation, said the park had worked closely with Tennoji Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park to provide the best husbandry and veterinary treatment for Sora, and the park is sad about his death.
“Sora will be missed, and we thank him for being our animal ambassador to help us raise public awareness of the importance of protecting wild koalas and their natural habitats,” Gendron said.
Kazutoshi Takami, a veterinarian from Tennoji Zoo, said the zoo was sorry to see Sora pass, which came despite the efforts of Ocean Park’s animal care team.