Canberra koalas evacuated from Tidbinbilla earlier this year as the Orroral Valley Bushfire approached have moved into a new enclosure, with a new arrival in tow, after a summer holiday at the ANU.
The koalas – Jed, Yellow, Scully, Billa, Gulu and the as-yet unnamed new arrival – were evacuated to ANU earlier in the year and have now returned to their freshly renovated public enclosure.
The koalas’ new digs include fresh ‘furniture’ – trees and logs – for the animals, as well as new fencing, a viewing platform and seating for the human visitors. The koalas have been waiting since returning home from ANU in February for their renovations to be complete.
ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman said the koalas had been housed “behind the scenes” while their enclosure in the Eucalypt Forest was being completed. He said the current family of Canberra koalas were introduced to the area following the 2003 bushfires, after all but one were wiped out.
“I would like to thank our partners at ANU for caring for our koalas over the summer period,” Mr Gentleman said.
“The quick response of the Tidbinbilla and ANU teams meant we were able to safeguard Tidbinbilla’s current koala population from the extreme weather events.”
Canberrans are invited to visit the recently returned koalas in the Eucalypt Forest, with the new joey expected emerge from the pouch in a few months in time for the warmer weather.
“You can see a variety of other free-ranging wildlife along this forest walk, including long-nosed potoroos,” Mr Gentleman said.
A number of other animals were also evacuated due to the Orroral Valley Fire, including platypus, wallabies, Northern Corrobboree Frogs and bettongs.
Four wallabies and the platypus took a summer sojourn with harbour views at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, while a number of other wallabies and the bettongs were evacuated by aircraft to Victoria by the Australian Defence Force.