At the height of last summer’s Black Summer bushfires, a great number of injured animals were emergency rescued and relocated to zoos across Australia for care and rehabilitation.
With help from the Australian Government’s $200 million investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and habitats, zoos have led efforts to establish insurance populations of at-risk species and treat animals injured in the fires.
Leafy the koala was rescued from Mallacoota and brought to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre (AWHC) at Healesville Sanctuary for treatment. After receiving around-the-clock care for burns, he is recovering well.
Vicky the koala was also rescued from Mallacoota and flown in a Spartan military transport aircraft (alongside Leafy) to receive veterinary care at AWHC. After receiving treatment for severe burns to her ears, face and feet, she was transferred to a larger rehabilitation enclosure at Phillip Island Nature Parks where she is gaining climbing strength and vitality.
Plans are now underway for a monitored release of both Leafy and Vicky back to the wild in Mallacoota, once their forest habitat has regenerated.