Warrawong Plaza appears to have bowed to pressure from animal activists and cancelled a "Cuddle a Koala" event which would raise money for drought-stricken farmers.
The event, due to be held on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday, involved staff from the Shoalhaven Zoo holding the furry marsupials and people getting to give them a pat after a gold coin donation.
This money was to be donated to the "buy a bale" campaign to help farmers get feed for their stock.
But the Animal Justice Party didn't see the fun in this, saying the animals might be "traumatised" and should not be being used to make money to prop up an industry than involved the slaughter of livestock.
About noon on Friday a statement from the plaza marketing team said the cancellation was because of "unforeseen circumstances" but encouraging people to still get involved with Buy a Bale.
A spokeswoman would not say whether this was because of the criticism from animal rights activists, or say what the "circumstances" were, other than that they were "unforeseen".
"Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to cancel our Koala experience, but the good news is the Shoalhaven Zoo will still be here to help celebrate Santa's arrival," it said.
"We are still holding our Buy a Bale fundraiser to raise money for our drought stricken farmers. So if you would like to donate and put your hay bale sticker on the wall visit concierge [sic] this weekend."
"People were encouraged to support koalas by donating to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Simply visit their website https://www.koalahospital.org.au/
The Animal Justice Party had vowed it would be "keeping an eye" on the event to make sure koalas were not mishandled.