The Australian Reptile Park are thrilled to announce that this week, they have spotted tiny flutters coming from the pouch of Ash the koala, making this little bundle of joy the 100th koala joey to be born at the Park! This new arrival also happens to be the first koala joey to be born in this year’s breeding season, marking the next generation of koalas to contribute to the survival of this beautiful iconic Australian species.

This newest arrival is truly a miracle, as Ash was the first koala joey to be born after the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires that devastated the country. As she was the first koala joey to emerge from her mother’s pouch during 2020’s koala breeding season, she was aptly named ‘Ash’ as a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife. Fast forward three years, Ash is now welcoming her own little joey that is believed to be the 100th koala joey born at the Australian Reptile Park since opening at Somersby in 2000.

The news of the next generation of koalas is also promising for native wildlife conservation organisations like the Australian Reptile Park’s sister organisation, Aussie Ark. Since the fires decimated the wild koala populations around the country during the Black Summer fires, it is still unknown how severe the decline in population has been.

Life Sciences Manager, Hayley Shute, the Park’s resident koala whisperer, said “It was such an incredible moment when we saw those tiny little flutters coming from Ash’s pouch!”

“At this stage, Ash’s joey is only 4 months old, so it will be a little while before we see the joey’s head poke out of mum’s pouch, but this represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season.

“The birth of our 100th koala joey is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at the Australian Reptile Park. It shows that with proper care and conservation efforts, we can make a difference and ensure the survival of this beautiful iconic Australian species.” Mrs Shute concluded.

The Park’s Director, Tim Faulkner, stated, “The birth of the 100th koala at the Australian Reptile Park is one of my proudest achievements, alongside creating wild koala habitat through Aussie Ark, becoming Patron for the Great Koala National Park in 2015, and educating thousands of people, worldwide, about koalas over the years.

Ash the koala has touching symbol of the plight of koalas, a species in dire need of our help. With estimates that koalas in the wild may be extinct by 2050, it’s crucial that we take action to protect these incredible creatures. Ash, along with the Park’s other world-famous koala, Elsa, has touched the hearts of many and raised awareness for their cause, and it will continue to share their story with the world.

Proud of being an active supporter of wildlife conservation, the Australian Reptile Park continues to breed their koalas to help boost population numbers for the endangered species and educate Australians about koalas. The wildlife park located on the Central Coast of New South Wales also hopes this heightened awareness helps protect the species from extinction.