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Koala at Taipei Zoo dies from retrovirus complications

Koala at Taipei Zoo dies from retrovirus complications

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) A koala from Australia's Currumbin wildlife protected area has died from multiple tumors induced by the retrovirus, Taipei Zoo officials said Wednesday.
The koala, nicknamed Naicha (milk tea), was delivered to Taiwan from the Gold Coast in Queensland in October 2004. It was the fifth koala to have succumbed to the viral infection since the zoo began to introduce the marsupial from Australia in 1998, the officials said.
Naicha's death leaves the zoo with four koalas, three males and one female.
"We originally expected Naicha, born in March 2002, to give birth to new babies, but he failed to reproduce after mating with two female koalas, Eva and Pearl," said Taipei Zoo Director Jason Yeh.
Naicha was found to have a one-centimeter tumor beneath his left armpit during a routine health check May 20, Yeh recalled, and the koala's health deteriorated gradually in mid-June before it eventually died Tuesday afternoon.
"A post-mortem autopsy showed that Naicha had tumors in many of his organs, including the left lobe of his lung, the left part of his skull, both shoulders and the left side of the chest," Yeh said.
A comprehensive pathological report will be released in seven to 10 days, Yeh added.
Veterinarians said retrovirus is commonly found in koalas. Nearly 90 percent of koalas in Japan and over 70 percent of koalas in Australia are infected with the virus.
The virus leads to diseases in some cases, but not in others. It remains unclear how the retrovirus affects koalas, according to veterinarians.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-03-05 18:56 GMT+08:00