A baby koala was rescued in Australia from a woman who had been keeping it trapped in her bag.
A 50-year-old woman was stopped and arrested on “outstanding matters” in Brisbane, Australia, CNN reports. When authorities asked if she had anything to declare, the woman handed over a green canvas bag and told them there was a live koala bear inside.
"Not quite believing their ears, the officers cautiously un-zipped the bag and found this gorgeous [koala]," Queensland Police Service said in a statement.
The unnamed woman had allegedly “found” the animal the previous night, and apparently decided to keep it.
The six-month-old mammal has been placed in the care of Australia’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which reported that despite being dehydrated, he was “doing well.”
"He's been on fluids but is doing well and will shortly be going out to a carer," RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty reportedly said. The RSPCA has named the fuzzy little koala “Alfred.”
Reports do not indicate what the woman was planning to do with Alfred, but she certainly wasn’t off to a good start by zipping him up in a handbag.
It’s common knowledge that wild animals are not to be handled by untrained civilians. Thankfully, Alfred is alive and well, but many animals are not so luckily. Earlier this year a baby seal in Washington had to be put down after a woman carried it home from the beach in a plastic bag, suffocating it.
Other incidents involve people finding unique animals and trying to take selfies with them, such as in Argentina when a group of tourists killed a rare breed of dolphin while passing it around the group to take pictures.
How do people not realize these thoughtless actions are inhumane? Harming the animals may not be their intent, but most of the time that is exactly the outcome.
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