Thousands of people sign petition to introduce Koalas to New Zealand

Must See 13/01/2020

More than 4800 people have signed a petition calling for koalas to be introduced to New Zealand in the wake of devastating wildfires in Australia, but experts say there are other ways to support the stricken species.

Millions of animals have been impacted by the wildfires currently raging across the continent and there are concerns for how the remaining ones will manage given the loss of vegetation.

A new petition says the best solution for the koala is to introduce the marsupial to the roughly 28,500 hectares of eucalyptus planted mostly in the central North Island.

Signatories to the petition said koalas were cute and bringing them over here would help save them from further population reduction.

But not everyone is a fan, with one Twitter user pointing out other introduced species from Australia have caused havoc for New Zealand wildlife.

"Don't get me wrong I am as sad for koalas as the next person," wrote Taylor Davies-Colley. "But are we sure that releasing a marsupial into a country with traditionally almost no mammals is a good idea. If only we had some cautionary tale to go off."

Possums were introduced to New Zealand in the 1850s to establish a wild source for food and fur pelts, but the population exploded into the millions and they remain a pest today.