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Australian zoo Welcomes ‘Ash,’ first koala Joey born after wildfires

An Australian zoo welcomed its first koala joey of the season on Tuesday — and she has a very meaningful name.

The furry bundle of joy was aptly named Ash, and not just for her grey fur.

She’s the first baby koala to be born at the Australian Reptile Park since the end of a devastating string of wildfires, which ravaged nearly the entire country for several months early this year. The fires killed many wild animals, including koalas.

The park shared an adorable video of one of the zookeepers greeting the little one. she pokes her head out of her mother Rosie’s pouch.

“[She] is a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife,” the Facebook post reads.

Ash was born in January, but zookeeper Dan Rumsey said it was only recently safe to check on her, given joeys tend to stay in their pouches for up to seven months.

“They’re ambassadors for koalas in the wild: the ones who truly suffered in the bushfires,” Rumsey told news.com.au. “Koalas are iconic … and even though ours are bred in captivity, we like to think we’re helping the fairly decimated population.

“Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season,” he said.

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