First koalas rescued in Australian wildfires are being released into the wild

Rescued koalas during Australia’s bushfires are being released back into their natural habitat after months of medical treatment. 

Veterinary hospitals across Australia were overflowing with wild animals injured in the summer blazes. Now, the first patients are fully recovered and ready to go back into the wild.

Posted by Greater Port Macquarie on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

One of these innocent creatures is Awen, a female koala who was the first patient admitted to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. She arrived in the hospital in October 2019. After months of special healthcare and lots of love, Awen was ready to return to her natural home. She, along with 48 other koalas, was recovering at the Koala Hospital, and now they are finally going back into the wild where they belong.

On their Facebook page, Greater Port Macquarie posted a series of heartwarming pictures with the caption:

“This was an incredibly emotional moment for the vets, volunteers (and Koalas) as these heart-melting pics show. Their habitat is recovering beautifully with the recent rain and there is plenty of food and water. What a journey!”

🐨 AGAINST ALL ODDS… 49 bushfire-ravaged Koalas were tirelessly treated and rehabilitated by the Koala Hospital Port…

Posted by Greater Port Macquarie on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

When Awen arrived at the hospital, she was badly injured, covered in burns, and suffering from a Chlamydia infection. Luckily, the poor creature was in good hands, and now she represents a symbol of hope for her species.

According to My Modern Met, it’s been estimated that nearly 30% of the koala habitat in New South Wales was completely destroyed. Tragically, around 2,000 koalas lost their lives in the horrific fires. Some experts even note that the species is functionally extinct.

However, the returning of Awen into her natural habitat at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve is a glimpse of hope for the revival of her species. 

Posted by Greater Port Macquarie on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Sue Ashton, president of the Koala Hospital, shared with Standard the tremendous joy they experienced while witnessing Awen’s recovery journey:

“Anwen was our first-ever female koala to be admitted during the bushfires and her recovery has been extraordinary. It marks a proud moment for Australia; to see our Koala population and habitat starting to recover from what was such a devastating time. To be able to release so many of our koalas back to their original habitats, even to their original tree in some cases – makes us very happy.”

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