The team at Aussie Ark have announced the birth of the first koala joey within their wildlife sanctuaries.

Cute and cuddly – the koala signifies hope after their natural bushland was destroyed during the bushfires.

Throughout the devastating fires, a suspected 1 billion animals were killed and a significant amount of koalas were among these numbers.

But since then, Aussie Ark have worked hard to create protection areas for the koalas who are also threatened by cars, disease and deforestation.

Securing 5,750 hectares of bushland in the Barrington Tops area, they established habitats with food trees, the exclusion of feral predators such as cats and foxes and protected areas away from roads.

This has significantly improved the population numbers and in time will provide protection to around 1500 koalas.

Manager of Life Sciences, Hayley Shute was thrilled to explain that “the birth of the joey reflects the need for protection against threats of habitat destruction, feral predators, fire and consequently increased disease.”

“What this sighting signifies is that when habitat and ecosystems are protected, koalas can repopulate and live a healthy, long life.”

Aussie Ark hope to see more joey arrivals soon.