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Port Macquarie Hospital's Bushfire-Injured Koalas Ready To Go Home

Koalas that had been seriously injured during the bushfires in Port Macquarie have started to be released back into the wild.

The Koala Hospital Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast gained international fame for its efforts to save the native marsupial during the bushfires.

The area has been regenerated by recent rain. Image: Greater Port Macquarie

More than $1,800,000 was raised from global donations in November last year, making it the most successful Australian GoFundMe ever.

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The koalas’ native habitats have recovered enough due to recent rain that the 49 rescued animals are able to be returned — like Anwen who has spent five months at the hospital.

Some koala were even returned to their native trees. Image: Greater Port Macquarie
Forty-nine koalas will be returned to their native areas. Image: Greater Port Macquarie

"After five months of recovery from burns and Chlamydia infection, Anwen has been released back to her home range,” the Koala Hospital said on Facebook.

“The habitat is looking extremely healthy after much rain, and we're sure Anwen will thrive now.”

Some koalas have been in care for five months. Image: Greater Port Macquarie

Greater Port Macquarie said the return of the koalas was “against all odds”.

“49 bushfire-ravaged Koalas were tirelessly treated and rehabilitated by the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie, and this week they started successfully releasing them back into the wild (some back to their original trees),” it said on Facebook.

“This was an incredibly emotional moment for the vets, volunteers (and Koalas).”

The Koala Hospital received nearly $2 million in GoFundMe donations. Image: Greater Port Macquarie
The return of the koalas has been emotional, the hospital said. Image: Greater Port Macquarie

This week in Victoria, the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary said goodbye to two koalas who had been in intensive care after being seriously injured in bushfires in Mallacoota.

Vicky and Princess Fiona, as well as Annie who was cared for at Melbourne Zoo, were taken to Philip Island Nature Parks to continue their rehabilitation until they can be moved back to their natural habitats.

“Vicky was one of the first koalas we evacuated from Mallacoota. The fact she’s needed months and months of ongoing care is a reminder of just how intense these fires were,” said Senior Veterinarian Leanne Wicker.

“Vicky was very badly burned on all four paws, but she was always just the sweetest little girl. She has such a beautiful personality.”

They have joined 12 other koalas who are on Philip Island, and all will be returned to their native areas around Mallacoota and Bairnsdale when the areas have regenerated enough to provide adequate food and shelter.

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