NEWS
28/09/2020 12:52 PM AEST

Koala Joeys Receive First Health Checks In Cute Video, And We Can't Look Away

Australian Reptile Park said health care for koalas was "more important now than ever" after the last devastating bushfire season.

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If you’re after a video to get you through the back-at-work blues, this one would be it. 

On Monday the Australian Reptile Park released a cute clip of three koala joeys  receiving their first health checks, and we have one word for what we saw: adorable.

Ash, Anna and Twiggy – who are the eldest of nine joeys born this breeding season – were seen getting their weight checked on a special branch before carers had a thorough look over for any cuts or sores. 

The New South Wales-based zoo said it was important to begin these health checks as the trio will soon start climbing and jumping between trees without their mother and they mustn’t hurt themselves in the process.

“It’s more important now than ever that our koalas are receiving the best care they can,” Australian Reptile Park Director, Tim Faulkner said in a statement provided to HuffPost Australia.

“Our koalas are a big part of our family here, and sadly after the devastating bushfires Australia faced, population numbers in the wild have drastically reduced. Koalas are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, and it’s up to us to ensure that they’re around for future generations to come.

“Thankfully, all of our nine joeys are growing up happy and healthy with their mums and will thrive under the care of our passionate koala keepers.”

The Australian Reptile Park
Koala joeys receive their first health check at the Australian Reptile Park.

In June a government-based inquiry said koalas may go extinct in the wild in NSW without urgent action to protect their habitat.

In a sweeping report, a bipartisan committee of lawmakers found the koala could be locally extinct by 2050 due to ongoing habitat loss linked to agriculture, mining and forestry. The authors also zeroed in on a bevy of other threats, namely severe drought exacerbated by climate change.

The report focuses on the devastation wrought by a series of bushfires that scorched more than 183,889 square kilometres after burning for nearly six months. More than a billion animals were estimated to have perished in the fires, including at least 5,000 koalas.

“Even before the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires it was clear that the koala in NSW, already a threatened species, was in significant trouble,” Cate Faehrmann, the committee’s chairwoman, wrote in the report.

“With at least 5,000 koalas lost in the fires, potentially many more, it was deeply distressing but extremely important for committee members to agree to the finding that koalas will become extinct in NSW before 2050 without urgent government intervention.”

The committee also warned that official estimates that 36,000 koalas remain in New South Wales were “outdated and unreliable.”

The report listed 42 recommendations that may be considered by the state government to help protect to iconic species, including efforts to encourage farmers and land owners to protect eucalyptus trees and broader biodiversity.

With additional reporting by Nick Visser

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