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MELBOURNE - A lucky koala was recovering Friday after being caught by firefighters when it fell unconscious from a tree before being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Emergency crews were called to the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin on Thursday night after reports that an injured animal was lying on the road after being hit by a car. When officials arrived, they found the furry native marsupial had climbed a tree for shelter and firefighters were brought in to bring it down. "We believed it had died in the tree, just when we were trying to rescue it," Langwarrin Country Fire Authority's Sean Curtin told Fairfax radio. "Then it fell out of the tree and the members caught it in a...

Australian Crocodile Kills Fisherman

SYDNEY - A white-headed crocodile nicknamed Michael Jackson has been shot dead, reports said Tuesday, after the predator apparently killed a fisherman in Australia's north. Credit: Associated Press Authorities were called in when a 57-year-old man disappeared after wading into the croc-infested Adelaide River to disentangle his fishing line late on Monday. Police said the man's wife was with him on the river bank but did not see the moment the animal, believed to be 4.5 metres (15 foot) long, attacked. "The initial information is that she did not see him taken but (heard) a scream and then turned around and saw a tail splashing in the water," Northern Territory duty superintendent Jo...

GOLD COAST - Australian authorities struggled to rescue a beached baby whale Wednesday and were forced to suspend the operation as fading light hampered efforts to return it to sea. Credit: Getty Editorial The whale, reportedly a two-year-old humpback, washed up on Palm Beach on the popular Gold Coast late Tuesday, with rescuers working for hours to try and free it. Hundreds of people gathered at the Queensland beach to watch the rescue, which included fitting a specially-designed harness to the mammal as workers from marine park Sea World tried to coax it back into the water. Rescuers were able to briefly return the whale to sea before it became stuck on a sandbar slightly further...

SYDNEY - A 3.7 metre (12 feet) crocodile on Monday attacked his keeper during a school holiday feeding show at an Australian zoo, dragging him into the water before he managed to break free. Credit: Getty Editorial Handler Trent Burton was feeding male croc John when it grabbed him by the hand in front of horrified onlookers at Shoalhaven zoo, 160 kilometres (99 miles) south of Sydney. The local Smith Coast Register newspaper said he was rushed to hospital with bites to both hands, although they were not thought to be serious. Shaken elderly witness Marlene Orr said it was "the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life". Another witness Michelle Brady told the newspaper that the trainer...

SYDNEY - An Australian study has blamed feral cats for the extinction of native mammals and warns 100 species are under threat from the creatures that inhabited the homes of early British settlers. Credit: Getty Creative The Action Plan for Australian Mammals, compiled over three years, found a higher than previously known rate of mammal extinction, co-author John Woinarski of Charles Darwin University said Wednesday. Woinarski told AFP Australia's mammal extinction rate was the highest in the world, with more than 10 percent of species -- 29 mammal fauna -- wiped out since Europeans settled the country two centuries ago. "At least one, and probably two, Australian mammals have been made...

Baby Wallaby Rescued From Facebook Sale

SYDNEY - A man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to sell a baby wallaby on Facebook, attracting bids as high as Aus$10,000 (US$9,291) before he was caught, officials said Thursday. Credit: Getty Creative The marsupial was rescued by Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife after an officer posing as a potential buyer met the man in a car park in Broome, in the state's north. The 26-year-old, who faces five offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act, had allegedly advertised the joey for sale for Aus$3,500, wildlife officer Peter Carstairs said. "We understand there was an offer of up to Aus$10,000 from a buyer visiting from overseas," Carstairs said of the...