Paul, the first koala rescued from horror bushfire, dies

Paul, the first koala rescued from horror bushfire, dies eight months after suffering awful burns

  • A koala has died from horror burns he suffered in a bushfire eight months ago
  • Paul was rescued from a bushfire near Port Macquarie in November last year
  • Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said Paul passed away on Sunday June 28
  • The hospital said some wild koalas struggle to cope after a huge injury
  • The 2019/20 bushfires are estimated to have killed 5,000 koalas in NSW alone

A brave koala who became the face of the bushfire crisis has died from horror burns he suffered in a blaze eight months ago.

Paul was rescued from a bushfire near Port Macquarie late last year, but succumbed to his devastating injuries last weekend.

‘It is with a heavy heart that I let you know Paul passed away on Sunday 28th June,’ Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said.

Paul was the first koala rescued in the devastating bush fires in Port Macquarie in November last year.

‘He was brought to the Koala Hospital as a badly burnt, traumatised little koala,’ the hospital said. 

Paul (pictured after his rescue in November) was rescued from a bushfire near Port Macquarie late last year but sadly succumbed to his injuries last weekend

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said some wild koalas struggle to cope and return to peak health after a huge injury (pictured, Paul after his rescue)

‘For a long time, Paul sat in his basket in intensive care.

‘Over the following months Paul responded well to treatment and his healing progressed as expected.

‘In spite of a nutritious diet and all the specialist care that the hospital could give, Paul’s health declined last week and he passed away quickly.’ 

The hospital said some wild koalas struggle to cope and return to peak health after a huge injury.

‘The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital volunteers and staff who cared for Paul for over eight months have been devastated by his loss,’ they wrote.

‘Paul touched the hearts of everyone who looked after him.’

It is estimated that over a billion Australian animals have perished during the most recent bushfire season.  

Paul’s death comes just says after a parliamentary report found koalas in New South Wales could become extinct before 2050 without urgent government intervention.

Paul (pictured) as the first koala rescued in the devastating bush fires in Port Macquarie in November

The report released on Tuesday said the destruction of koala habitats from this year’s unprecedented bushfire season – estimated to be up to 81 per cent in some areas – was accelerating the species’ demise in the state.

The NSW parliamentary inquiry also cited land clearing, climate change and logging as driving the marsupial to the brink of extinction.

‘Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant populations, the committee believes the koala will become extinct in NSW well before 2050,’ the report said.

Committee chair and Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann said the threatened species was already in significant trouble before the 2019/20 bushfire season which killed about 5,000 koalas in NSW alone. 

The report said the government estimates there are 36,000 koalas in the state, but that figure is unreliable.

The 2019/20 bushfire season is estimated to have killed about 5,000 koalas in NSW alone (pictured, the Bilpin fire raging on December 19 2019)

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