Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Safeguarding koalas from STD

by Dan Westell, CBCNews.ca

Koalas are a contender for the cutest animal in the world. The small, iconic Australian mammal (average under 10 kilograms) lives on eucalyptus leaves and looks like an ewok, the furry heroes of the Star Wars episode Return of the Jedi.

But, sadly, they are prone to chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, and it appears to be spreading.

"As much as 40 to 50 per cent of koalas coming into care in both Queensland and NSW [New South Wales] are showing clinical signs of the disease and it seems to be getting worse," said Prof. Peter Timms from Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Chlamydia can cause serious side effects, including blindness, pneumonia and female infertility. That is especially problematic, because the koala population is already under pressure due to the shrinking of eucalyptus forests in Australia, their source of food.

Timms and colleagues are ready to test a chlamydia vaccine for koalas, based on work with human vaccines. The test, set to begin this year, will study the immune response, and if that's positive, the researchers will try to determine if the response can protect the bears from the disease.

The researchers need more money to continue their studies. "We are looking for corporate or individual support to fund further research in this area," Timms said.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Carolyn

Ack! That's AWFUL! I really hope they manage to help the little critters!

Posted July 17, 2007 10:21 AM

Max

Ontario

Poor little guys... I'm ashamed at myself for laughing at the title... (only a little though)

Posted July 18, 2007 03:22 AM

Claudio

Ontario

Yeah, I couldn't help but chuckle when I began reading the article, but this really is a serious threat to the little critters. Half the population? Thats terrible...I hope the vaccine works for them.

Posted July 18, 2007 08:09 AM

Charles

Ontario

I thought this was going to be an extremely odd promotion of how to conduct safer beastiality practises with koalas, in which case I was going to read out of morbid fascination...

...the result is less funny.

That's a nasty std for those things to have; let's hope it can be taken care of with as little suffering as possible.

Posted July 18, 2007 08:41 AM

Monkey

Winnipeg

I'm still laughing... damn horny Koalas!

Posted July 18, 2007 12:10 PM

TC

Wheatley

Koala's are not bears. Say Koala 'Bear' to an Aussie and they'll be quick to correct you. Maybe the Durex condom tester from Melbourne and the vets should get together.

Posted July 20, 2007 10:59 AM

Garet

Winnipeg

Not as bad as calling an Aussie a Limey or Kiwi.

Posted July 20, 2007 11:38 AM

Charles

Ontario

Panda aren't bears either; they're giant rodents. It doesn't change the fact that people have been calling Koalas and Pandas "bears" for a very, very long time. I suppose it makes them more apealing to children. If you told your son or daughter the Panda Bear doll they were hugging was actually a Panda Rodent, I doubt they'd be impressed.

No offense to rodents; they're great too.

Anywho, calling a Koala a "Koala Bear" isn't the end of the world.

What's at stake now is how to help the little critters so they don't have to suffer from an STD... which is damned depressing.

PS: My niece calls me Charlie Bear. Does that mean I'm a bear?

Posted July 20, 2007 12:43 PM

Monkey

Winnipeg

For some reason I wouldn't be surprised if they were more offended by the Koala Bear comment.

Posted July 20, 2007 12:52 PM

Carolyn

Henceforth, Charles is Charlie Bear.

Posted July 20, 2007 02:04 PM

Steve

Edmonton

I think the first step is helping the Koalas get over the stigma associated with STD's

Posted July 20, 2007 04:20 PM

Monkey

Winnipeg

I agree with both Carolyn and Steve, although I'd like to hear a little bit more of what Steve's idea consists.

Posted July 23, 2007 12:28 PM

Troy

Kelowna

This is entirely natural. The Koala over-population problem in Australia is extreme, so much so that the eucalyptic trees are dying out. The Koala's are creating their own problem because of how many of them there are. That is what happens naturally when a species is over-populated. Disease and famine takes care of them, until their numbers are reduced to natural numbers.

People take on this sympathy to Koalas because they are cute.

That's why Australia has had problems implementing a cull - something that is necessary for the long-term health of the species a.k.a.-they'll die anyway, either from the cull or a disease as we are seeing.

Posted July 25, 2007 03:00 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

CBC IN ITALY 36 coffins in a gymnasium: An Italian town mourns its earthquake victims
In the Italian town of Ascoli Piceno, 36 coffins laid out in a cavernous gymnasium bear the remains of some of the more than 280 people who died in Wednesday's earthquake.
The burkini is an option, not oppression, say those opposed to ban
The recent court decision overturning one French town's ban on the burkini is unlikely to put the debate about the body-concealing swimwear to rest. Some of those who have decried the ban say all the controversy won't stop women from wearing what they want.
Trump's doctor took 5 minutes to pen report dubbing candidate's health 'astonishingly excellent'
Donald Trump's personal physician told NBC News he needed just five minutes to write a glowing public assessment of Trump's health as a limousine waited to carry the letter back to Trump.
more »

Canada »

Liberals commit $450M, up to 600 troops to UN peacekeeping missions video
Canada will commit roughly half a billion dollars towards UN peace support operations over the next few years, a commitment that includes hundreds of troops and police officers. The announcement is being made at an air base in Bagotville, Que.
'This is not OK': N.L. newspaper uses front page to blast sexist 'trolls'
The St. John's Telegram — which calls itself the People's Paper — used its front page Friday to respond to recent online harassment of one of its female journalists.
Premier Rachel Notley says her government may change course if budget plans don't work
With a record deficit approaching $11 billion, Premier Rachel Notley for the first time on Friday said her government may have to "re-calibrate" its plan to deal with the worst economic downturn the province has seen in 30 years.
more »

Politics »

New Canada's mission in Africa will be focused on 'peacemaking,' UN ambassador says
Marc-André Blanchard says the new mission in Africa will be different than those of the past, with a big shift to focus on "peacemaking" and the right of Canadian troops to protect civilians caught in the crosshairs of conflict.
Tony Clement takes aim at bridge tolls, CBC in bid to become leader
Conservative Party leadership candidate Tony Clement says it's time to rebuild the party's relationship with Atlantic Canadians.
Liberals commit $450M, up to 600 troops to UN peacekeeping missions video
Canada will commit roughly half a billion dollars towards UN peace support operations over the next few years, a commitment that includes hundreds of troops and police officers. The announcement is being made at an air base in Bagotville, Que.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Video Britney Spears hitches a ride for James Corden's Carpool Karaoke
​Oops! James Corden did it again, sharing his Carpool Karaoke commute with Britney Spears on Thursday's edition of The Late Late Show.
Lawyer for Making a Murderer accused wants blood, DNA evidence tested
The attorney for a Wisconsin inmate featured in the hit Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer filed a motion Friday seeking permission to perform extensive scientific tests on evidence she believes will show he's innocent.
Dancing on a different stage: the balletic inspiration behind PS4's Bound video
Professional dancer Maria Udod helps translate her art into a playable character in Bound, a new game for the PlayStation 4.
more »

Technology & Science »

Dig reveals surprise about 'super-henge' near Stonehenge
A dig where researchers last year said they had detected a "major new prehistoric stone monument" buried near Stonehenge has revealed something quite different than expected.
Video Brazilian plant's 'sneeze' caught on video video
A plant in the Brazilian rainforest and one discovered fossilized in amber in Mexico and the Dominican Republic are similar because it appears the two release pollen in an explosive way, like a sneeze, researchers say.
Summer 2016 an 'exceptional' year for biodiversity in St. Lawrence River video
From North Atlantic right whales to narwhals to sunfish, this summer has proven to be a banner year for biodiversity in the St. Lawrence River.
more »

Money »

New Canada Post's relationship with its workers is blighted by 'underlying toxicity'
Whenever Canada Post management and union representatives reach an agreement, whether through negotiation or arbitration, the resolution may not be enough to repair their fraught relations.
Analysis Janet Yellen, Jackson Hole and the anti-Davos
A fishing hole in the middle of Wyoming might not be the first place that leaps to mind when one thinks of venues for major world economic conferences, but the bucolic scene of Jackson Hole is just that. Once a year, the global elite descend on the area to listen to what the U.S. central banker has to say.
McDonald's Happy Meal mistake, and Rio's poor Olympic ROI: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
From more details on how the Fort McMurray fire keeps burning red ink, to some valid questions about the costs of Canada's gold, silver and bronze medals, it was a colourful week in business news. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen gets you caught up on the week that was in her video recap.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Recap Jays light up Twins with a Martin, Smoak show to reclaim 1st in AL East video
Justin Smoak broke out of a slump with five runs-batted in, Russell Martin also drove in five and Josh Donaldson hit his 30th homer of the season as the Toronto Blue Jays' offence ignited for a 15-8 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Blue Jays reacquire catcher Dioner Navarro from White Sox
The Toronto Blue Jays have added depth at catcher for the stretch run by reacquiring veteran switch-hitter Dioner Navarro from the Chicago White Sox.
Preview Novak Djokovic ready to defend U.S. Open title
Friday's U.S. open draw set Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as potential semifinal opponents, while No. 2 Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are in the other half of the bracket.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »