May 30, 2020
As a wildlife park in New South Wales, Australia, gets ready to open the doors for the public after months of lockdown, they are celebrating a huge milestone for one of the country’s most beloved species.
Early March, 2020, marked the ending of what was later declared the worst fire season in Australia’s history, with a series of bushfires burning for more than 200 days, devastating millions of acres of land.
Although 25 human lives and millions of dollars in property were lost in the fire, it was the Australian ecosystem that suffered the worst in the 2019-2020 wildfire season.
By March 5, it was revealed that more than 5000 koalas died in the natural disaster, which is 12 percent of the species’ population, which reportedly put them under serious danger of extinction.
But there is a little hope on the horizon now that the first baby koala born in the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, Australia has been introduced in the park’s social media, to the delight of all animal lovers in the planet.
On May 26, the Australian Reptile Park took to its Instagram feed to share a one-minute clip that shows the park’s latest addition, a baby koala named ash, coming out of his mother’s pouch while the zookeepers examine him, captioning it:
“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.”
PLANS TO REOPEN
Ash arrived just in time to bring joy to the local public after a terrible fire season and amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and soon he will be meeting his fans in person as the park where he was born re-opens.
Not long before announcing Ash’s birth, the Australian Reptile Park shared the news that they will resume taking visitors on June 1.
“With ample space for social distancing, the Australian Reptile Park is one of the safest places for you and your family to visit now COVID-19 restrictions are easing,” the zoo’s official website’s statement reads.
RETURNING TO NATURE
Beyond the walls of the zoos, wildlife conservation professionals are doing everything in their hands to offer koalas a new chance in their natural habitat, and late in March, several rescued koalas were released into the wild.
A total of 13 of these animals, rescued from the bushfires by the non-profit Science for Wildlife back in December 2019, were released back into the Blue Mountains after spending months at the Taronga Zoo.
“The recent rains have helped and there is now plenty of new growth for them to eat, so the time is right,” shared Science for Wildlife Executive Director Dr. Kellie Leigh in a statement on the organization’s website.