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Sickening story behind this photo

AT FIRST glance, the photo of this koala just makes it look like he’s struggling to climb a pole.

But the story behind the photo is absolutely disgusting.

Koala Rescue Queensland, a state group that rescues the Australian native 24 hours a day, posted this harrowing photo of a koala appearing to climb a wooden gazebo pole.

When the group arrived, they found the koala was in fact dead and had been bolted to the pole with building screws.

The incident occurred at Brooloo Park Lookout near Gympie, 170km north of Brisbane.

Koala Rescue Queensland spokesman Murray Chambers told ABC Radio today that it made him “sick”.

“It makes me feel sick, to be honest with you,” he said.

In the Facebook post, Koala Rescue Queensland said it still doesn’t know whether or not the koala was alive when he was cruelly attached to the pole.

Mr Chambers also told AAP the cruel act made him want to vomit.

“I feel sick, I feel like throwing up,” he said.

He said the attack on a “vulnerable” and “innocent” animal showed no respect for Australian wildlife.

“What sort of people do this?” he asked.

Fellow team member Ray Chambers said there was a need for stronger penalties for animal cruelty to stop this “horrid” behaviour.

“The whole thing is just wrong,” he said.

The group has removed the body from the pole and are investigating.

Speaking to the Gympie Times, Mr Chambers said the rescue group published the photo to “help catch these vile individuals or at least show some of the horror we see daily”.

Sadly, this sort of torture is something the rescue team comes across on a regular basis, often being called to incidents where koalas have been beheaded or shot.

The rescue group is appealing for any witnesses and asking people with any information to contact police.

With AAP

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