Okay, human AIDS is sadder, because I have more empathy for humans than boozy little bears. But jeez.
God hates koalas : Lawyers, Guns & Money
Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome, as the disease is otherwise known, is now documented in the Wildlife Disease Database, maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is worrying veterinary scientists who are seeing more and more koala victims of the disease.
“Extinction is inevitable in some areas,” Jon Hanger, a veterinary scientist at Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital, told CNN. “I certainly hope we don’t see it across Australia. But if we don’t take the decline seriously and pick up on the warning signs now it’s certainly a risk.”
Like human AIDS, the disease is not fully understood, but a virus weakens the victim’s immune system, leaving the koala vulnerable to cancer, infections and other health problems. The CNN report mentions that KIDS “is spread by koalas coming into contact with each other,” suggesting that mating isn’t the only possible form of transmission.