Tiny Koala Joey Makes Incredible Recovery After Being Found Near Bushfires
An adorable little koala joey who was found close to death near the Australian bushfires has made an incredible recovery.
Keli the koala weighed just 275g, and had lost most of his fur due to a fungal infection, when he was found in New South Wales back on 8 September.
The poor little fella was found abandoned on the ground and was taken to The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
Now, the hospital has released new images of Keli, showing off his impressive recovery.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital wrote on Facebook: "Just a brighter moment - in all the tragedy in Australia at the moment we wanted to share something good.
"Look at Keli today, a whopping 1 kg in weight, the fungal infection has gone and all his fur is regrowing. It's still early days yet, we will get very excited when he makes 2.5kg.
"And it's time for him to come into the 'dehumanising trees ' in preparation for release back to the wild.
"Release will not happen until the cooler months, and thankfully there is still some good habitat left in selected locations."
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Bushfires have raged through Australia since September, with millions of animals feared dead and huge swathes of their habitats wiped out.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney have said as many 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles could have died in the fires.
Science for Wildlife executive director Dr Kellie Leigh told the New South Wales upper house inquiry: "We're getting a lot of lessons out of this and it's just showing how unprepared we are.
"There's no procedures or protocols in place - even wildlife carers don't have protocols for when they can go in after fire."
Australia's environment minister Sussan Ley said: "Up to 30 percent of the koalas in the region may have been killed, because up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.
"We'll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made."
A GoFundMe page set up by Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, titled Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires, has raised more than AUD $2.3 million (£1.2m / US $1.6m) since it was launched on 31 October.
Featured Image Credit: The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
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