The RSPCA confirmed the results of an autopsy on a koala found screwed to a post at a lookout point in the Gympie region in mid-January.
The Gympie Times reports that results show the koala was hit by a car and was likely dead before it was secured to the wooden post with building screws.
RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty said there was no blood flow from where it was attached.
He added the autopsy showed the koala suffered trauma to the head and liver and frayed claws consistent with being hit by a car and the body being dragged on the road.
It is believed the animal was dumped in the bush for a few days before being retrieved and displayed.
“It could have been dead for two or three days,” Beatty said.
“At this time of year, every year, really disturbing acts seem to surface. For some reason the summer holidays seem to spark real acts of animal cruelty.”
Beatty said RSPCA could not prosecute anyone involved in the way the koala’s body was treated under the Animal Care and Protection Act, but investigations are continuing.
Koala Rescue Queensland co-founder Ray Chambers described the incident as “absolutely mind-boggling”.
“It’s sort of a first, like that,” he said.
The koala came to wider attention when Dave Phillips saw it on the post on his way to work and stopped to get a better look.
Thinking the koala might be asleep, Phillips sought assistance from a nearby local, and hoped it could survive if wildlife groups tended to it.
The Gympie incident follows an incident in late December in Western Australian where two boys aged 13 and 16 were charged with animal cruelty after they were filmed torturing a joey.
A third boy, alleged to have filmed the abuse, was charged in the following days.
The video depicts a boy grabbing the joey by the tail and attempting to drag it along the ground before another boy punches the animal.
As the joey attempts to escape, it was chased in to a wire fence where it is repeatedly struck.
Prior to the end of the video a boy appears to be attempting to strangle the animal.