Some heartwarming video shows the five koalas being released back into the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve the other day after 22 percent of the wildlife park was destroyed by the fires, and the subsequent floods, that crippled much of Australia earlier this year.
It feels like an awfully long time ago, given everything that has happened since then, but for Jed, Yellow, Scully, Billy, and Gulu, things can finally start to return back to something approaching normality.
The blazes across the country are thought to have killed about 800 million animals, and the koalas were sent away to the Australian National University to ensure they stayed safe during the devastating fires.
What’s more, they’ve not come back empty handed.
In fact, Yellow has a joey – baby koala, in case you’re not au fait with the terminology – in her pouch that is expected to emerge over the next few months.
The new arrival was born in March, and has yet to be named, but is so far a bit shy about its new surroundings.
Speaking to Nine News, Wildlife carer Dr Sarah May explained: “She’s going to poke her head out in a couple of months, they poke their heads out at around five, six months, and that’s when we’ll start to know whether it’s a boy or a girl.”
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman has now encouraged people from Canberra – in the Australian Capital Territory where the park is based – to go and visit the returning koalas and the new arrival.
As they emerge from their own enforced change of circumstances, it might be nice to go see some cute animals and put some money into the wildlife park at the same time.
He said: “The koalas have a new member joining their family, with the Tidbinbilla wildlife team finding a joey in Yellow’s pouch. We expect the little joey to emerge from the pouch in a few months’ time ready for warmer weather,
“The koalas were returned in good health to Tidbinbilla in late February and have been housed behind the scenes in secluded enclosures while the team refurbished the public display enclosure in the Eucalypt Forest.”
“The upgrades include new ‘furniture’ in the form of trees and logs for the koalas to enjoy. There’s also new clear fencing, a viewing platform and seating to better allow visitors to experience these iconic critters.
“Tidbinbilla’s first foray into threatened species conservation began with the introduction of koalas in 1939. The current family of koalas were introduced following the devastating 2003 bushfires, which wiped out all-but-one koala later named ‘Lucky’.”
Mr Gentleman also put on record his thanks to the ANU for looking after the koalas for the past six months.