The ongoing bushfires in Australia are a continuation of the ones witnessed in September 2019. Keli, a koala joey was among the thousands of animals who were affected. He was on the brink of death when he was found.
This koala joey was found on 8th September in New South Wales, weighing barely 10 ounces. He was in a severe condition with almost all of his fur lost. The burns the joey had sustained resulted in fungal infection, which lead to his deteriorating condition. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been the home of this joey since September. This Koala Hospital is one of the many trying to deal with the increasing number of burnt and injured animals from the Australian bushfires.
After months of sustained care, the hospital has released new images of the injured koala joey. Keli is recovering very fast now and the hospital staff announced their joy at this outcome.
Just a brighter moment in all the tragedy in Australia at the moment we wanted to share something good. Meet Koala…
While this joey was found in a severe condition, he now weighs a healthy 1 kg and the infection has subsided, said the hospital staff. His fur is also regrowing and the staff will be starting to prepare the koala joey so that he can return to the wild soon. The fires have destroyed most of their habitat but certain virgin spots are still left and that is where the hospital plans to release Keli.
The many firefighters had managed to keep September fires under control for a few months but December saw a spike. December end and the first week of the new year have witnessed the devasting effects of the bushfires. University of Sydney ecologists said in a press release that this disaster has injured and killed at least 480 million animals. Endemic animals like kangaroos and koalas are being pushed to the brink of extinction. Over 8000 koalas are feared dead already. New Zealand, which is two thousand kilometers away from the fires, is experiencing the effects of the bushfires.
While Keli the koala joey is fast recovering, return to his natural habitat- or what is left of it, will be problematic. MP Sussan Ley said in an interview that nearly 30% of koalas in the region are already dead. The government is making plans to create safe corridors for the thousands already in hospitals so that they can be safely released in due time.
A GoFundMe page is there to support Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. They have already raised more than $3 million. They wish to raise more in order to save thousands of other burn victims like Keli the joey.
Image: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital