Blue Mountains koalas are returned to bush from their zoo sanctuary after summer fires

13 koalas that were evacuated from the path of an oncoming bushfire have been returned to Kanangra-Boyd National Park… and number 13 was a lovely surprise!

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and joey, Blue Mountains Koala Project

As bushfires tore through many parts of NSW, Dr Kellie Leigh – Executive Director of Science for Wildlife, saw an urgent need to rescue a highly significant koala population from the path of a mega-fire in the Blue Mountains. Dr Leigh and her team managed to capture 12 koalas as the fire approached. They were taken to Taronga Zoo, where they were safely housed for the remainder of the summer.

Just before their release back to the wild from Taronga, the research team were met with a pleasant surprise; it was discovered that one of the koalas, ‘Kali’, had a joey in her pouch.

In late March, after intensive surveys to see if the bush had recovered enough to support the koalas, Science for Wildlife coordinated the successful release of all 13 koalas back to their home in the eucalypt forests of Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

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