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Joey joy for Aminya!

Aminya & Joey in the wild 10 Oct21 MC.Photo (C) Friends of the Koala

An orphaned koala who was raised by expert carers and spent months in rehabilitation has been spotted in the wild thriving with a joey of her own.

Aminya was rescued in June 2019 after a member of the public witnessed her mother fall from a tree in Larnook in northern New South Wales (NSW). Sadly, Aminya’s mother died on impact, but upon closer inspection, the person noticed movement in her pouch – her little joey – Aminya – was still alive.

Both mum and joey were transported to the expert International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)-sponsored vet team at Friends of the Koala near Lismore in NSW.

The mother had injuries on her back leg that were indicative of a car hit, which could explain her lack of strength and subsequent fall from the tree. Aminya was about four months old and slightly dehydrated but was in relatively good condition.

IFAW-sponsored vet nurse Marley Christian cared for Aminya overnight before placing her into home care with an experienced koala carer. It was a 24-hour job, with Aminya heartbreakingly mewling for her mum all night and demanding to be fed every two hours.

After about eight months in home care, Aminya was transferred to koala kindy at Friends of the Koala, where she learnt important koala skills and behaviours from other joeys her age. She then moved to a soft release site where she passed with flying colours before being released into safe secure habitat in Cawongla in January 2020. 

Aminya hadn’t been sighted for several months until early September when she was spotted with a healthy new joey of her own.

“Seeing a rehabilitated koala, contributing to the wild population is the ultimate reward! It highlights the importance of our work and our shared belief with IFAW, that every individual matters and contributes to the conservation of the entire species,” Ms Christian said.

IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said Aminya’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 koalas that were hand raised and rehabilitated 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 Aminya contributing to the future of the population is really exciting.”

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