Baby Koala Fights for Life After Shooting
Little Frodo wins a following in Australia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2010 12:40 PM CST
A file photo of a different koala.   (AP Photo/dapd/Juergen Schwarz)

(Newser) – A baby koala named Frodo has won hearts in Australia after being shot several times and gravely injured by a pellet gun. Rescuers found her next to her dead mother. After a week of surgeries, blood transfusions, and bleak progress reports, some good news today: "Frodo has made good improvement overnight and has started eating leaf on her own, which is a positive sign for her future," says a doctor quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Advocates hope the worldwide publicity gives traction to the movement to protect the nation's koala population, which has dwindled to about 43,000, notes CNN. In the meantime, authorities are taking the case seriously and asking for help on a national tip line. The penalty for intentionally shooting a koala: $225,000 or two years in prison.