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Joey for koala made famous thanks to Chris Hemsworth

An orphaned koala who was rescued and rehabilitated by specialist vets after her mum was hit by a car has been spotted thriving in the wild with a joey of her own.

Dimples, who is about two years old, was put under the expert care of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) sponsored vet team at Friends of the Koala in January, 2020 when she was about nine months old. Her mum died after being hit by a car in Tatham and a kind passerby found her and called the Friends of the Koala rescue hotline.

She was found to have no physical injuries and weighed a healthy 1.14 kilograms.

Due to her young age, she needed 24/7 care and was placed into home care with senior vet nurse Marley Christian. Once old enough, Dimples began spending time in the koala kindy enclosure at Friends of the Koala where she learnt important skills from other joeys that she would ordinarily have learnt from her mum.

While in care, Dimples had a brush with fame and met Australian actor Chris Hemsworth who visited Friends of the Koala while shooting a National Geographic documentary.

To prepare Dimples for life in the wild, she was transferred to a plantation kindy which is a fenced area with lots of small trees where she could practice her climbing skills, eat leaf from real trees and experience all types of weather for the first time.

The IFAW-sponsored vet team was thrilled with her progress and after a final assessment, she was released back into the wild in October 2020.

Dimples, who is often sighted near the area she was released, was recently spotted with a joey of her own.

“We are always thrilled to see koalas we have successfully hand raised or rehabilitated thriving in the wild, but seeing them contribute to the wild population is the ultimate reward – it’s why we do what we do,” Ms Christian said.

IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said Dimple’s successful rescue, rehabilitation and release into the wild is great news for the population of koalas in the region.

“It is always heartwarming when we see rehabilitated koalas not just surviving, but thriving in the wild,” she said. “Koalas in New South Wales are facing excessive threats and the risk of extinction by 2050, so to see Dimples contributing to the future of the population is really exciting.”