The Australian wildfires that charred a very large portion of the land late last year into earlier this year are now done. Over one billion animals perished, 33 lives were lost, as well as more than 434 million tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere. The hardest hit were the koalas and their habitat in the mid-north coast region of New South Wales.
According to the Federal Environment Minister, up to 30% of koalas in this region were killed during the brush fires and many were hospitalized. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital took in around 49 koalas that were injured during the fires. This hospital received much praise and gratitude around the world. It is awesome to announce that over 1.8 million dollars was donated to the hospital, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign.
It brings great joy to say that, after five months later, the first koalas were released last week, completely healed and rehabilitated. 26 more koalas were then released a few days later. After the fires came weeks of heavy rain, which recovered a lot of the burned habitat earlier than expected.
Sue Ashton, president of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said "This is a heartwarming day for us, to be able to release so many of our koalas back to their original habitats." Due to the coronavirus restriction, this hospital is closed to visitors. You can actually adopt a koala if you want to show support!