Bush fire koala heads home
Nicknamed Richardson Jane, a local koala bushfire victim has been released back into the bush having been successfully rehabilitated by local carers and animal welfare charity, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
Richardson Jane was one of the very few survivors of the Heatherbrae blaze at Port Stephens which burnt out of control in late October. Her rescue was a joint operation by the Native Animal Trust Fund and Hunter Koala Preservation Society, with her medical treatment funded by IFAW.
According to Josey Sharrad, Native wildlife campaigner at IFAW: “Richardson Jane’s rehabilitation has been remarkable and is testament to the care and attention provided by her carers. When she was found she was severely dehydrated and the vet expected her recovery to take a year – this plucky little koala defied the odds and I am delighted to have witnessed her release back home.”
Having spent the last few months at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, Richardson Jane is a local celebrity, demonstrating how valuable having the support of hospital is to the Hunter wildlife groups who know they are there to assist when it comes to long term care of koalas when their own resources are stretched to the limit.
Loreto Gray from the Hunter Koala Preservation Society concluded: “The fact that so few of our native animals survive bush fires, carers and groups are often single-minded in their determination to rehabilitate and release those lucky animals that survive. Caring for native wildlife can be heart wrenching. The endless months of caring for our little creatures is made worthwhile on days such as today – a successful release. We can only hope that Richardson Jane can now live a safe and quiet life, in this area that is of critical importance for the long-term survival of koalas.”