The Australian Reptile Park’s animal hire service has come under fire for allowing koalas to be rented out to hotel rooms or private homes for $2,000 an hour.
As late as Tuesday January 4, the “Koalas to Your Room” page on the Australian Reptile Park’s website was advertising the service.
“Our friendly keepers will come to you with a koala or other native species to let you enjoy the animal in the peace and comfort of your hotel room or home,” it read.
“Koalas are not toys for the ultra-rich,” NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson said.
“Koalas are wild, native animals that deserve a life of freedom away from unnecessary human stress. No animal should be treated like this, dragged from hotel to hotel for the sake of making somebody money. This isn’t conservation or education – this is exploitation.”
The page on the Australian Reptile Park’s website has since been taken down.
“I’m appalled Australian Reptile Park ever thought this was acceptable and I urge them to discontinue this practice, using any animal, immediately,” Mr Pearson said.
The Animal Justice Party was alerted to the issue by outraged Twitter users.
Mr Pearson is available for comment.
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Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132