Last koala standing: Bittersweet moment Isaac is released back to his home after burns treatment – but it’s so damaged ‘it doesn’t smell like home anymore’
- A koala named Isaac has been returned to his bushfire-stricken home in Adelaide
- Isaac was treated for burns by the local koala rescue, who saved him last year
- He looked confused as he returned home in an emotional moment on video
- Since leaves are dry, property owners will put out water to keep the koala alive
A koala who was saved and treated for burns after fires ravaged his Adelaide Hills home has been filmed being released back onto the property from which he was saved – the only koala to survive.
But when the male koala, who workers from Adelaide Koala Rescue named ‘Isaac’, first saw his home on Saturday that was largely destroyed by fires in December, he paused and seemed to wonder where he was because of the devastation.
And maybe wonder where all his friends and family had gone – because Isaac was the only koala to survive.
In the clip, Isaac appeared to be confused by the lack of trees, burnt leaves and scorched earth that was now his home.
‘Issac wasn’t sure when we released him. It didn’t look or smell like home anymore and the poor guy must wonder what happened last month,’ the short clip is captioned.
Isaac the koala (pictured) was saved and treated for burns by Adelaide Koala Rescue (AKR) when his habitat was devastated by bushfires in December last year and released back into the wild on SaturdayHowever
At the start of the video, a koala handler opened up Isaac’s carrier and gave him a pat to wish him goodbye before the koala quickly made his way to a gum tree.
Once at the tree, Isaac surveyed the surrounding area, which was now made up of ashy ground and minimal trees.
Eventually, the koala leaped onto the gum tree trunk and climbed up to settle on a comfortable branch.
‘Although there’s not much, there’s enough habitat for one koala on the property,’ the Adelaide Koala Rescue (AKR) said.
The koala was freed back onto a property in the Adelaide Hills, a rugged area east of Adelaide, in a heartbreaking video shared to the AKR Facebook page
‘He’s probably so confused! He says ‘my paddock’s burnt!” one handler said.
‘You’ll be okay, you’ve got lots of lovely people who are going to keep an eye on you and put water out.
‘There’s not much here but it’s all yours – you’re the last man standing.’
Koalas do not normally drink water as they mainly eat Eucalyptus leaves, which have a high water content.
However, since many of the leaves in Isaac’s home are burnt or dried by the bushfires, he will get extra water from the property owners and neighbours.
Isaac was one of the ‘lucky ones’ to survive the bushfires while all of the other koalas on the property perished in the flames. The AKR explained that ‘although there’s not much, there’s enough habitat for one koala on the property’.
Isaac is one of more than 80 successfully rehabilitated koalas that have been released into the wild by AKR following devastating bushfires in the region.
The Adelaide Hills were severely impacted by the Cudlee Creek bushfire that started on Decemeber 20 last year.
In addition to scorching bushland, the fire reached the towns of Lobethal, Woodside, Charleston and Mount Torrens but fortunately, the townships were saved.
The fire has been since put out and marked as safe by the South Australian Country Fire Service, which is no longer in attendance.
It is estimated that over a billion Australian animals have perished during the most recent bushfire season.
Isaac is one of more than 80 successfully rehabilitated koalas that have been released into the wild by AKR following devastating bushfires in the region. Pictured: An AKR call to action