The first baby koala has been born since the Australian bushfires, a symbol of hope for the wildlife

With everything going on in the world it’s easy to forget that just this year Australia faced a massive disaster as massive bushfires devastated the continent and killed over a billion animals.

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The fires had a particularly dire impact on the already-diminished koala population. Wildlife rescuers have been working hard to save every koala they can and rehabilitate and care for the survivors.

But after a difficult few months, we’re starting to see the light: rehabilitated koalas have recently begun to return to their native populations.

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And now, there’s even better news: the first baby koala has been born since the fires, a symbol of hope for the whole species.

The Australian Reptile Park, In New South Wales, announced yesterday that the first joey of the season had been born, and she’s just precious:

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The momentousness of the birth wasn’t lost on them: they knew the baby was a sign of rebirth after months of loss and devastation.

They fittingly decided to name her “Ash.”

“Ash is the first koala born at the park since the tragic Australian bushfires and is a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife,” the park wrote on Facebook.

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Ash was born to a mother koala named Rosie, who couldn’t be prouder of her little joey.

“Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season,” zookeeper Dan Rumsey told Buzzfeed.

“It was such an incredible moment when we saw Ash poke her head out of her mum’s pouch for the first time!”

What a beautiful koala! After so much loss it’s amazing to see a new birth—we hope Ash will be just the first in a long healthy recovery for this species.

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