"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."
A little over three months after the destructive wildfire in Australia, the country witnessed a miracle of life: the birth of an adorable little koala named Ash.
Deadly wildfires razed the country at the beginning of 2020, causing widespread loss of homes and claiming numerous lives. Many animals were injured and the koalas almost died out, prompting the call for koala protection as an endangered animal. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), there were over 6,000 koala deaths reported in New South Wales (NSW) during the fire.
“This is a koala emergency. Koalas must be immediately uplisted to endangered on an emergency basis and a moratorium on all harmful activities impacting koalas enforced to allow surviving populations some breathing space while their capacity to recover is further assessed,” said Josey Sharrad, an IFAW wildlife campaigner.
The glimmer of hope came after the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby took it upon themselves to share about the birth of their first joey after the wildfire. The announcement was made on social media.
“We have a very special announcement … Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mum’s pouch to say hello! 🐨.”
“Keepers have 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.”
Zookeeper Dan Rumsey said that Ash revealed her presence by poking her head out of her mom Rosie’s pouch at about five months. He also said that Ash emerged just in time for the park’s reopening to represent the start of a successful breeding season.
The zoo has been working hard since the wildfires started and during the COVID-19 lockdown that followed to ensure that the animals are safe. They also said that they are “unbelievably excited to reopen our doors and welcome you back!”
Because of the wildfires and the ensuing lockdown, the Australian ecosystem had taken a tremendous hit. But Ash has survived the chaos of the bush fire season. She also became “a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife.”
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