Nearly two years ago, koala Ember was being treated in hospital for burns and dehydration after being caught in the horrific Black Summer bushfires.
Today, she is back in the wild, thriving as a new mum.
Ember was found walking on burnt ground at Whiporie in northern NSW in November 2019.
She had significant burns to her rump and paws, and her lungs were congested from the smoke, the International Fund for Animal Welfare says.
Her fur was black from soot and she was severely dehydrated.
So serious was her condition, she had to be transferred to a wildlife hospital in Queensland – where vets thought she would die.
But the 18-month-old koala made a miraculous recovery.
Eventually, she was transferred to a soft release site where specialist vets could monitor her ability to climb and forage in light of the fire damage to her claws.
Now she has been spotted with her own joey.
“So many koalas were lost in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, and we honestly thought Ember would be another casualty,” said Marley Christian, a vet sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
“It is truly heartening to see her thriving in the wild and contributing to the wild population.”
Ember’s good news comes after NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean declared the government was committed to not seeing any more extinctions in its national parks.
Koalas are among the animals and plants targeted under his plan to save dozens of threatened species.