Nature,  News

Koalas Are Being Released Back Into The Wild After Australian Bushfires

The deadly impact of the months-long Australian bushfires on wildlife was unprecedented. However, light has emerged from that darkness as koalas are being released back into the wild. 

The bushfire crisis seems so long ago, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s important to not forget the devastating damage Down Under endured: more than 2.5 million acres ravaged by fire, billions of animals killed and 34 human lives lost.

Great news!! We've released the first koalas back into the bush that we rescued from the bushfires in the Blue…

Posted by Science for Wildlife Ltd on Monday, 23 March 2020

For these animals, it’s time to go home – months after being rescued, 13 koalas have now been released back into their now-safe natural habitat in the Blue Mountains.

Wildlife conservation non-profit Science for Wildlife, in collaboration with San Diego Zoo Global, rescued a number of koalas ahead of their eucalyptus trees being engulfed by flames. Since then, they’d been living in Taronga Zoo.

Now, they’ve been released into Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the state of New South Wales, the first step of a larger rehabilitation plan for the animals, with hopes of restoring the koala population in the area. More than 10,000 koalas are feared to have been killed in the fires.

Koalas Released Back Into Wild After Bushfire Crisis 2

In a statement, Dr Kellie Leigh, the executive director of Science for Wildlife, said: 

While they have coped well in care we are delighted to finally send our koalas home. We have been busy assessing the burnt area that we rescued them from, to establish when the conditions have improved enough that the trees can support them again.

The recent rains have helped and there is now plenty of new growth for them to eat, so the time is right. We will be radio-tracking them and keeping a close eye on them to make sure that they settle in OK.

Throughout the course of the bushfire crisis, experts from Taronga Zoo reportedly treated more than 100 koalas across two hospitals.