Quensland Police Service

Koala Mother And Joey Rescued From Queensland Bushfires Set To Be Released

Caitlyn Clancey 30 Nov 2019

A mother koala and her small joey who were pictured huddled together surrounded by the ashes of the Queensland bushfires are now due to be released back into the wild, ABC News reported.

In September, the pair stole the hearts of the world after they were found clinging to each other amid a forest of ash.

Quensland Police Service

Ainslee, 9, took such good care of her baby, Rupert, in the face of the devastating fires that the joey came away from their rescue with just smoke inhalation.

His mama, however, suffered singed fur and badly burnt paws.

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Ainslee and Rupert were rescued and transferred to RSPCA Queensland to be treated.


Upon their arrival, Ainslee's health was rated at just three out of 10.

Now, after several months of loving care, the duo are reportedly all healed up and ready to be released back into the wild.

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According to one of their carers, Sam Longman, Ainslee remained a devoted mama throughout their entire stay.


"She's a good mum, she always had her hand on him, her arm around him," Longman said.

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Not only that, but she was very conscious changes in her baby's mood.

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"She would constantly cuddle him. If he gets himself into a pickle and starts to yip, which is the koala equivalent of crying, she becomes quite alert and responsive."

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Ainslee was treated with daily supplements and multivitamins and was fed "the finest of gum leaves to regain health."

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eucalyptus_amplifolia_-_leaves.jpg

Longman reported that her paws "have healed beautifully" and her singed hair has even started to grow back in.

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As for 12-month-old Rupert, he's recovered so well that he's become something of an over-overactive koala.

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He's at the point where he's even annoying his loving mother at times.

"He's well-adjusted and then some," Longman said.

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"He's a little galavant, his personality is just out there. He gets around, so naughty."

ABC News | Kym Agius

Apparently Rupert likes to bite at his unimpressed mom who gives him a little growl to let him know he's skating on thin ice, so to speak.

"But," Longman added, "she's doing really well with him, I'm really impressed — from what she's been through to where she is now."

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Rupert's recovery is thanks in part to their pen mates, 10-year-old Eve and her joey daughter Ella.

Sam Longman | Pictured: Rupert, Ella, and Eve

The two were rescued from the fires on the same day as Ainslee and Rupert, and the families are reportedly very close.

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So close, in fact, that Eve lets Rupert suckle at her.

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Although the joey is gaining some independence from his mom, he's still quick to hurry back to her side when he gets a fright.

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Longman said Rupert and Ainslee will be released into an area fairly close to the rescue (5km away, as required by law).

YouTube | ABC News in-depth

They're going to wait a couple of months until they're sure Rupert could make it on his own in the wild, since most koalas separate from their mothers at 18 months.

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As for releasing them, Longman said it's going to be a bittersweet goodbye, considering the bushfire's destruction of their natural habitat.

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"I think it's fantastic they will be released but scary at the same time," she said. "Where they came from, there's nothing left."

h/t: ABC News

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