Australian zoo welcomed its first koala joey of the season on Tuesday!
The baby koala was named Ash. “[She] is a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife,” the Facebook post from the park says. Ash, is the first baby koala born at the Australian Reptile Park since the end of the devastating wildfires.
Ash was born in January, but the zookeeper Dan Rumsey says it was only recently safe to check on her, since joeys stay in the pouches of their mother for seven months! “They’re ambassadors for koalas in the wild: the ones who truly suffered in the bushfires,” Rumsey told news.com.au. “Koalas are iconic … and even though ours are bred in captivity, we like to think we’re helping the fairly decimated population.
“Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season,” he said.
The Department of Home Affairs says there were more than 12.6 million hectares of land that were damaged during the fires and an estimated one billion animals died.
The Australian Reptile Park is planning it's reopen to the public on June 1st after being closed for two months during coronavirus.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic to open our doors again,” Rumsey told news.com.au. “While I’ve been at work every day, we know the animals have been missing the visitors.”