The beginning of 2020 began with heartbreak for thousands across Australia. Deadly Australian wildfires brought devastation around the country.
Many lost their homes, and some even lost their lives. It wasn’t until March 2 that the fires finally ceased in the state of New South Wales.
Among the most impacted populations was Australian wildlife. Conservation groups have worked tirelessly to assess damage to different animal populations while nursing injured animals back to health. A study by the International Fund for Animal Welfare reported that over 6,000 koalas were killed in New South Wales during this fire season.
Many called for koalas to be classified as endangered in the wake of the fires.
Nearly three months after the first fire-free day, there is new hope. The Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, Australia, has announced its first koala birth since the wildfires. The adorable joey is a little girl whom researchers have decided to name Ash.
After the koala community was devastated by the Australian wildfires, there’s been a new sign of hope. The Australian Reptile Park in Somersby shared some positive news with fans on social media on Tuesday: the announcement of the birth of a baby koala.
“We have a very special announcement … Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello! 🐨,” read the caption of the video of the newborn joey.
“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.”
Ash was born to mom Rosie. The joey is about 5 months old, according to park zookeeper Dan Rumsey, but she only just emerged from her mother’s pouch, revealing her presence to zoo staff.