We’ve been following koalas Annie and Frankie on their recovery journey since they were found in Mallacoota, Victoria suffering from burns during the catastrophic Australian bushfires of 2019-20.
Thanks to the incredible and overwhelming donations from WWF supporters in Australia and around the world, we were able to provide funds that helped them and other koalas in their recovery process, including the construction of three rehabilitation enclosures at Phillip Island Nature Parks.
Now, almost one year on, these two koalas have finally returned home to the wild.
Take a look at some of the stirring photos of their release!
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Annie the koala was rescued in Mallacoota in January 2020 with severe burns to the pads of her feet. With the help of supporters, WWF-Australia was able to provide emergency funds to Zoos Victoria, enabling specialist critical care treatment for koalas like Annie.
Four months after, she was transported to Phillip Island Nature Parks for rehabilitation at the new enclosure our supporters helped fund.
At the end of 2020, Annie joined fourteen other koalas returning home to the wild.
Annie the koala during a health check and fitting of a radio tracking collar prior to her release.
Annie the koala being released at a site near Mallacoota, Victoria.
Annie the koala back in the wild after her release.
Frankie the koala was also rescued from the devastating Mallacoota fires. He had singed ears and was treated by specialist vets and carers, and after intensive treatment was transported to Phillip Island Nature Parks in March 2020.
During his time at the rehabilitation enclosure, his fur grew back and he built a lot of confidence and strength, climbing trees and eating lots of food!
In December 2020, he was released back to the wild in Mallacoota.
Frankie the koala at the semi-wild rehabilitation enclosure after his radio tracking collar fitting, ready to be released.
Free at last! Frankie takes his first steps back home.
Frankie makes his climb up his first tree back in the wild.
We wish Annie and Frankie all the best as they settle back into their forest home. Protecting their forest habitat has never been more important, as we work to double the number of koalas on Australia’s east coast by 2050.
Find out how you can help save koalas by signing up for Regenerate Australia.
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Can’t get enough? Take a look at some of the other koalas that were also released back into Mallacoota in the video below!