With everything that has happened in 2020, it can be easy to forget the major crisis Australia suffered at the beginning of the year: the massive bushfires that spread through the continent, claiming the lives of millions of animals.
Perhaps the worst-hit species was the koala: the iconic animal of Australia has already suffered declining numbers, and the fires took a massive toll by killing about 25,000 koalas.
It has been a priority of Australia’s wildlife rescuers to protect and care for every koala they could rescue. It’s been hard work, but months after the fires, these koalas are finally ready to return to the wild.
This week, five koalas left the care of their rescuers to return to their natural habitat.
During the bushfires, five koalas—Jed, Scully, Billa, Gulu and Yellow—were rescued from danger, evacuated from their home in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in Canberra.
They’ve spent the past few months being cared for at Australian National University… but now, they’re finally going home.
The koala family was released into a new koala enclosure in the Eucalyptus Forest, and they wasted no time in getting back to their old habits.
After being released from their cages, the koalas began happily climbing their trees and eating leaves.
“Everything’s just coming back to normal, it’s midway through the year and we’re still getting our animals back so it’s just this feeling that we’re finally moving forward. We are getting back to a sense of normality,” wildlife team leader Dr. Sarah May told 9News.
And the koalas will return to their habitat with a new addition to the family: Yellow gave birth to a baby joey, who she’s caring for in her pouch.
“We estimate she’s about three months old,” Dr. May explained.”She’s going to poke her head out in a couple of months, they poke their heads out at around five, six months, and that’s when we’ll start to know whether it’s a boy or a girl.”
After losing so many koalas, it’s always inspiring to see a new baby be born into the world. Each new joey is a step forward in repopulating this at-risk species.
For a nation that’s suffered so much damage and loss from the bushfires, it’s an inspiring sight to see these animals return. Other animals
“We saw the habitat loss and the loss of animals as well, so it’s wonderful to be able to see these animals return here,” ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman told 9News.
We’re so happy these koalas are returning to their natural habitat after all they went through. Share this inspiring news!