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NSW bushfires: Koala population ‘like in a cremation’ after blazes

The number of rescued koalas from fire-hit regions around Port Macquarie has jumped to 16 as wildlife supporters scour key areas that were some of the best habitat for the marsupials in the state.

As many as 350 koalas are estimated to have died in the fires at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, according to Koala Conservation Australia President Sue Ashton.

A koala, dubbed 'Peter' at the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie, was found injured at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve after bushfires.

A koala, dubbed ‘Peter’ at the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie, was found injured at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve after bushfires. Credit:Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

The reserve, which was home to a colony of as many as 600 koalas, lost must of its habitat last week. Strong winds again hampered fire-fighting efforts in the area on Friday night.

“We think most of the animals were incinerated – it’s like a cremation,”  Ms Ashton said. “They have been burnt to ashes in the trees.”

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