Up to 30% of koalas may have died in Australian bushfires


(CNN/WFLA) – The world’s koala population is at risk and recent wildfires may have killed a large portion of them.

Australia’s Minister for Environment Susan Ley said Friday that up to 30% may have been killed in bushfires in New South Wales, a state in the country’s southeast after wildfires torched up to 30% of their habitat.

Officials will have an exact number once the fires are extinguished. Ley said the country is working with koala experts.

And $6 million have been allocated to established corridors and plans for releasing animals that have been hospitalized.

There are only about 40,000-100,000 koalas remaining after “uncontrolled habitat destruction,” according to Australia Zoo.

“We believe the wild population of koalas is critically threatened and in need of our protection,” the zoo’s website says.

The zoo said brush fires, habitat clearing, dog attacks and road accident have contributed to the loss of koalas, which are now considered endangered.


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