Fleet the koala lost his battle for life.
Fleet the koala lost his battle for life. Ben Beaden, Australia Zoo

Koala loses battle to survive

FLEET, the koala that was shot by a slug gun in October last year, lost his battle for life on Wednesday.

Fleet was brought to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital on Thursday, October 13, with seven pellets lodged in various places throughout his body; the pellets were in his skull/nasal cavity, lower back and behind his ear, as well as one pellet in each limb.

Three pellets located close to the surface were initially removed, but those that were lodged deeper in Fleet's skull and body were deemed too high a risk to remove and their location did not initially pose a direct risk to his survival.

After two months of treatment, the pellet that was lodged in Fleet's nasal cavity created an infection and despite strong antibiotic therapy and attempted removal, he was unable to beat the infection associated with it.

Surgery proceeded on Wednesday to remove the pellet, but unfortunately, before completion of the operation Fleet's heart stopped. Despite the best efforts of the vets and nurses at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Fleet could not be revived.

Vet Amber Gillett said staff at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital worked tirelessly to save the famous little koala.

"We are committed to saving every single animal here at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and it is deeply emotional and upsetting to lose one of our patients.

"It angers me beyond belief that someone could heartlessly shoot and leave for dead one of our protected species, and our national icon."

To donate to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, please donate to: www.everydayhero.com.au/event/koala

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