Australia's Koalas being released back into the treetops after bushfires

David Child
The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has treated more than 600 animals since the fires: Getty Images

Koalas rescued during Australia’s summer bushfires are being released back into the wild after receiving weeks of treatment for injuries suffered during the blazes.

The marsupials have been in the care of an array of zoos and animal hospitals since being plucked out of their habitats during infernos that killed 33 people as well as a billion native animals across the country - including thousands of Koalas.

The devastating fire season, which lasted from September until torrential rains hit in February, also razed some 2,500 homes and a wilderness area the size of South Korea.

One of the areas hardest-hit was the koala-rich habitats in the mid-north coast region of New South Wales state.

New South Wales was the Australian state most severely affected by the wildfires, with an estimated 5,000 Koalas killed by the blazes throughout the territory (Reuters)

But with the fire season officially declared over in NSW as of the end of last month, rescuers in the state have now begun releasing the koalas, many of which were left badly burned.

In some cases, the animals have even been returned to the same trees in which they were found.

Among the first to be returned to their natural habitat were a number of Koalas which had been cared for at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which sits some 240 miles north of the state capital, Sydney.

On Thursday, staff from the facility began transferring 49 of the mammals back into NSW bushland.

Announcing the move in a post on Facebook, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital described the animals' return to the wild as "an incredibly emotional moment".

"Their habitat is recovering beautifully with the recent rain and there is plenty of food and water," the hospital's post added. "What a journey!"

Those released included a young koala named Anwen by veterinary staff.

Anwen's badly burnt limbs saw her became one of the most recognisable images of the Australian bushfires as the plight of the creatures attracted attention around the world.

Sue Ashton, president of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, described the hospital's joy in overseeing the four-year-old's recovery.

"Anwen was our first ever female koala to be admitted during the bushfires and her recovery has been extraordinary," Ashton said.

"It marks a proud moment for Australia; to see our Koala population and habitat starting to recover from what was such a devastating time," she added.

"To be able to release so many of our koalas back to their original habitats, even to their original tree in some cases – makes us very happy."