The first baby koala has been born at the Australian Reptile Park after the bushfires in the country. Since the recent fires, the koala population in Australia was at an extreme low.
However, now the birth of the new joey has brought hope to the people. On Tuesday, the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby announced the birth of the koala.
They posted a video on Instagram saying, “We have a very special announcement. Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello!”
Adding further, “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.”
In the video, a zookeeper holds the mommy koala. The cute joey is revealed inside its mother’s pouch. The baby stayed halfway inside the pouch and only peered a little on the outside.
Dan Rumsey, the Zookeeper at the park, said, “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,” Dan said. “Last year, we had seven healthy koala joeys and we’re very keen to help bolster their numbers after wild populations were ravaged during the horrific bushfire season.”
The koala population in Australia was already on the verge of extinction. The 2019-2020 bushfires made the situation even worse. According to a press release by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), more than 6,000 koalas died in the fires.
Ash’s birth brings hope that the koala population can be saved. The baby koala was born back in January. But, he had to stay in its mother’s pouch for a few months to grow and gain strength.
Furthermore, the Australian Reptile Park had been closed since March due to the COVID-19 virus. However, now the park has decided to re-open on Monday, 1 June, with proper precautions.
They announced the re-opening on their official Facebook page. They wrote, “During these uncertain times, visiting a wildlife park with your family is the best way to connect with nature and each other. 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.”
Ash, the joey, will make his debut amongst people when the park re-opens.