An Australian wildlife centre has welcomed its first baby koala since the devastating bushfires and in honour of the fellow koalas that perished in the fires, the newborn has been named Ash.
The Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales has welcomed a new baby koala named Ash, marking the first since the devastating bushfire that destroyed hundreds of the species.
Between November 2019 and February of this year, fires raged through swathes of land in Australia and killed many species. Heartbreakingly, surrounding the wildlife centre, up to 85 per cent of koalas were wiped out during this difficult period.
Already at the risk of being labelled as endangered in certain areas of Australia, which is the only country the species is native to, it was a very worrying time.
However, there has been some positive news as the wildlife centre has welcomed its first baby koala named Ash.
Dan Rumsey, a zookeeper at the centre, told local media: “It was such an incredible moment when we saw Ash poke her head out of her mum’s pouch for the first time.
“Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season.”
Typically, female koalas give birth to one joey a year. Sometimes though, they can go up to two to three years without reproducing.
Due to the bushfires, animal experts have now more than ever been stressing that there could be an issue with female koalas reproducing – their habitats have been destroyed making it much more difficult.
According to the Australian Associated Press, the NSW official in charge of the inquiry into the koala deaths of the region, Cate Faerhmann, has stated that the figures she has been seeing “really should be a wake-up call to the government to pause any threats to koala habitat including logging and development in key areas”.
She added: “There are so many threats that if we are going to stop this wonderful animal from becoming extinct we have to really really prioritise securing and protecting their habitat now.”
Check out the wildlife centre’s video on its latest arrival below.
We have a very special announcement… Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums 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.
Posted by Australian Reptile Park on Monday, 25 May 2020
Following Australia’s coronavirus lockdown, the park is supposedly set to reopen on Monday. Meanwhile, the keepers have been sharing wonderful content of all its animals.