Last night on Twitter, a former Aussie zoo employee recounted a rather heart-wrenching experience of having to euthanise a koala.
Eliza Berlage, a journalist and former zoo staff, posted the following Twitter story recounting her experience working as an Education Officer at one of the many Aussie wildlife sanctuaries a couple years ago.
"It’s no desk and no deadlines. It’s me in the sun, patting and feeding kangaroos, photographing excited guests with sleepy koalas, cuddling snakes, having bird food flicked in my hair and speaking my second tongue in Spanish. I get to make kids laugh like kookaburras and adults think like they should," she wrote of her experience for Hijacked.
But here's what happened early in this amazing zoo job
Then things got creepy...
And then the keeper fessed up
Yes, folks. It was all a joke.
We weren't able to contact Eliza to verify her story, but she asserted on Twitter that it did indeed happen (so we're taking her word for it).
So where do animals go when zoos don't want them?
Fortunately, zoos aren't that heartless when it comes to getting rid of unwanted animals.
One Green Planet reports zoos around the world explore several non-euthanasia options to managing population numbers of certain animals, or to get rid of animals that are no longer profitable to keep within their zoo.
They include trading surplus animals with other zoos through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Animal Exchange and offering contraception to animals to limit breeding numbers.
As Eliza noted, the putting down of koalas doesn't really happen this way.