Australia was deeply saddened when the very famous Sam the Koala died. Sam became famous when he was given water by a Victorian bush fire fighter after the devastating Victorian fires of 2009. The then Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, made a statement about how sad it was that Sam had passed away. He said that the world had seen the photo of Sam as a symbol of hope. “I think that gave people of the world a great sense that this country Australia could come through those fires – as we have. Sam the koala was part of the symbolism of that and it’s tragic that Sam the koala is no longer with us.”
What is little known is that Sam actually died from Chlamydia, and not from injuries sustained by the fires – the stress, quite possibly caused by the fire, caused the Chlamydia to become untreatable. Very sadly, this is a common end for many koalas. Read more about Sam. Read more about koalas and chlamydia.