Several of the koalas rescued from the devastating Australian bushfires that raged last year appear to have been released back into their habitats.
According to Australian media including the public broadcaster ABC, one of those released is Anwen, who was the first female koala to be rescued and treated at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital near the major Australian city of Sydney.
READ MORE: While not fighting fires, Australian soldiers want a turn at ‘koala time’
Tens of thousands of koalas had to be taken to similar animal hospitals for treatment and rehabilitation because of burns and other injuries sustained in the bushfires, which ravaged more than 110,000 square kilometres across the continent late last year.
Eucalyptus trees release flammable gas and as a result, many koalas that survived the fires and were brought to the animal hospitals had severe burns.
Roughly half of Australia’s koala population is believed to have died in the fires.
About 30 per cent of their natural habitat was destroyed as well.
One billion other animals are also estimated to have died in the bushfires.
Anwen is one of 26 koalas who local Australian media reported last week were set for release in the coming days. Heavy rains have been credited in some reports as helping the koala habitats recover from the bushfires more quickly than many had suspected.
A video posted by the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on YouTube at the end of March showed Anwen and described preparing her for release, while several other videos describe the release of two other koalas being treated by the hospital, including one on April 11.
Global News has reached out to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for comment.
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