It’s been a big week for the Australian Reptile Park on NSW’s Central Coast, with the zoo welcoming a special baby koala to its family of cuddly creatures.

Ash the baby koala isn’t just any koala though. She’s the first koala joey to be born since bushfires devastated the area over last summer.

The fires saw 12.6 billion hectares of land burn, with over a billion animals estimated to have been lost. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there could be as few as 43,000 left in the wild.

So the birth of the first Koala joey of the season, little Ash, is the good news story we needed this week!

“We have a very special announcement… Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello!” announced the Aussie Reptile Park on Facebook.

As it turns out, Ash was actually born way back in January, but it so happens that joeys can remain inside their mother’s pouches for seven months or so before they emerge for the first time!

“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.”

Speaking with News Corp, Zooper Dan Rumsey said that Koalas at the zoo were important “ambassadors for the koalas in the wild: the ones who truly suffered in the bushfires.

“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.”

The park reopened on June 1, and Rumsey said there’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get everything safe and ready. “We’re taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and animals and have implemented our COVID-Safe reopening plan.”

Check out Ash the koala joey:


Ash the koala has been out and about all week and can't wait to see you all over the long weekend! ?

Posted by Australian Reptile Park on Thursday, 4 June 2020

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