Even though it’s always extremely heart-wrenching to see an animal hurt or in distress, the devastating bushfires ravaging Australia have many of us animal-lovers browsing the Internet as if on our tip-toes, trying not to put ourselves in tears again by seeing too many hurt animals. Luckily, Koala Hospital Port Macquarie has some good news for us all. One particular joey that was saved from the raging fires weighing only 275g has made a spectacular recovery! Keli the Koala currently weighs 1kg and is looking at a brighter future, waiting to be released back into the wild during the cooler months.
Keli the koala was named after the hero dog who saved it from the bushfires that are currently devastating Australia
This little koala joey was rescued from the Australian bushfires by a hero dog and it weighed only about 275g with the majority of its fur lost due to a severe fungal infection. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital where Keli’s being treated joyfully said, “It’s time for him to come into the ‘dehumanizing trees’ in preparation for release back to the wild. The release will not happen until the cooler months, and thankfully there is still some good habitat left in selected locations.”
He arrived at the animal hospital in very poor shape with a fungal infection and only weighing 275g
Despite these optimistic plans, there’s a lot of work left to do. The hospital staff says the real joy will come after Keli hits the 2.5 kg milestone in weight. And even then they will not hurry to release him into the wild and will wait for the cooler months to come. However, Science for Wildlife executive director Dr. Kellie Leigh is a bit concerned that there are no regulations or strong scientific statements as to when’s the best time for injured koalas to go back into the wild: “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 the fire.”
Luckily, the hospital managed to get rid of the infection and Keli made a stunning recovery, now weighing 1kg
It is believed that the koala population is one of those that got the hardest blow by the fires. Up to 30 percent of the koalas in the New South Wales region may have been killed because up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed. But the numbers are still unclear and the proper assessment is yet to be done after the fires have finally calmed down.
He still has to bulk up quite a lot before going back to the wild in the cooler months but the future is looking good for the little fella!