A glimmer of good news in the midst of global fear.
Months after catastrophic bushfires destroyed large parts of Australia, the country’s rescued koalas are slowly being released back into the wild.
The bushfires burned more than 2.5 million acres of land over the summer, destroying habitats and leaving many animals stranded or dead. It is estimated that 10,000 koalas died from the bushfires, as well as from drought during this time.
Koala hospitals saw an increase in admissions during this emergency and treated many koalas for burns and dehydration.
— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) March 26, 2020
But now, four adult koalas and a new joey have been released the Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the state of New South Wales. They are the first of 12 koalas that were rescued from the Blue Mountains area and have been rehabilitated at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
The Sydney-based not-for-profit wildlife conservation organization, Science for Wildlife, partnered with San Diego Zoo Global on international conservation projects. The two organizations have been working on the Blue Mountains Koala Project for five years and are committed to increasing koala population in the area. The Blue Mountains region is home to the most diverse koalas in Australia so it is important to sustain the mammal’s population.