Learn how rescued Kangaroo Island koalas have found a new home at Cleland

Learn how rescued Kangaroo Island koalas have found a new home at Cleland

Koalas from KI have been relo­cat­ed to Cle­land Wildlife Park to form a dis­ease-free pop­u­la­tion. Find out more.

South Australia’s recent bush­fires rav­aged 210,000 hectares on Kan­ga­roo Island and many of the koalas that sur­vived the bush­fires are strug­gling to find food.

That’s why 28 koalas have now been trans­ferred from Kan­ga­roo Island to Cle­land Wildlife Park to cre­ate a dis­ease-free pop­u­la­tion on main­land South Australia.

The island’s Han­son Bay Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary and Adelaide’s Cle­land Wildlife Park have part­nered up to translo­cate the ani­mals to pre­vent them from dying of star­va­tion and help estab­lish this spe­cial pop­u­la­tion on main­land SA.

Kan­ga­roo Island koalas are free of chlamy­dia and have a low rate of an AIDS-like dis­ease called KORV, which is wide­spread in SA’s main­land populations.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly koalas tak­en from Kan­ga­roo Island can’t be returned because of the risk of intro­duc­ing dis­eases but with large amounts of wildlife habi­tats destroyed, the State Gov­ern­ment has tak­en the sig­nif­i­cant step of translo­cat­ing the ani­mals to Cleland.

The res­cued koalas came from the west­ern end of the island, where most, if not all, of their habi­tat has been lost in the recent bushfires.

They are being nur­tured back to health by experts at Cle­land Wildlife Park, Aus­tralian Marine Wildlife Research & Res­cue Organ­i­sa­tion (AMWR­RO) and Zoos SA.

Kan­ga­roo Island koalas translo­cat­ed to Cle­land Wildlife Park 

Many of them are stay­ing in enclo­sures built by Cle­land Wildlife Park staff and con­trac­tors with help from the Aus­tralian Defence Force. The mil­i­tary is also work­ing in shifts to help with the three-times-a-day juve­nile koala feeds.

The res­cued koalas will also help experts under­stand more about debil­i­tat­ing dis­eases plagu­ing koala pop­u­la­tions Aus­tralia-wide and their off­spring may become part of a rewil­d­ing pro­gram in future years.

The res­cue of Kan­ga­roo Island koalas is a part­ner­ship between the SA Gov­ern­ment, the Inter­na­tion­al Koala Cen­tre of Excel­lence, Han­son Bay Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary, AMWR­RO and Zoos SA.

To sup­port re-estab­lish­ment of habi­tat for wildlife in the state’s bush­fire-rav­aged areas, donate to the Wildlife Recov­ery Fund.

To help sup­port vital koala research vis­it the Inter­na­tion­al Koala Cen­tre of Excel­lence web­site.

(Main image cour­tesy ofNicole Mankows­ki)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living