Koala Returns Home To Find Her Forest Has Been Cut Down

A once-bustling ecosystem was reduced to a scattered pile of wood chips and twigs, leaving the area's former residents struggling to cope with the sudden loss of their home.

The large swath of land was cleared to make room for a housing development in Queensland, Australia, killing or displacing countless animals in the process. Not long after, a volunteer from the animal rescue group Wildcare Australia Inc. encountered one such creature, a clearly confused koala gazing upon the ruins of the place she used to live.

"This would have been Ash's home range since she became independent from her mother," the group wrote online. "There is now nothing left for her to return to."

Although the land clearing was perfectly legal, part of an urban development push approved by the Gold Coast City Council, the effects on animals, like Ash, are devastating. Last year alone, nearly 680,000 acres were cleared in Queensland, and the damage was cited as the leading cause of a loss of biodiversity.

"This is a sight that saddens us deeply as not only has Ash lost her home but thousands of other animals including birds, reptiles, kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, bats and echidnas also called the area 'home,'" said Wildcare Australia Inc. "Many of those animals would have no doubt have lost their life during this mass clearing exercise."

Fortunately, despite losing her livelihood, Ash managed to escape with her life.

"Ash is being cared for overnight by one of our koala carers and will then be admitted to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary's wildlife hospital for a full health assessment," Ash's rescuers report. "She is currently enjoying a large bucket of fresh eucalyptus leaf which she is quickly devouring."

To learn how you can Ash and other animals left homeless due to development projects like this one, visit Wildcare Australia Inc.'s website here.