Port Macquarie Koala Hospital overwhelmed with support for GoFundMe campaign after fires

Treatment process: Gaby Rivett, Cheyne Flanagan and Sheila Bailey from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital change Bellangry Kate's dressings.
Treatment process: Gaby Rivett, Cheyne Flanagan and Sheila Bailey from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital change Bellangry Kate's dressings.

The generosity of people from around the world has come to the aid of our koala population after devastating bushfires.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital launched a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to buy and distribute drinking stations for koalas and other wildlife in bushfire-ravaged areas.

The overwhelming support, which has reached almost $800,000, has enabled the koala hospital to increase the number of drinking stations - and that is just for starters.

The donations will also allow the koala hospital to fast track the introduction of a wild koala breeding program.

Some of the funds will be used to build a facility or "koala ark" to provide a healthy and safe environment.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been in discussions with the Forestry Corporation of NSW and an area of land has been identified for the project.

Koala Conservation Australia president Sue Ashton said koalas would be released into the healthy habitat with the hope they would breed to help rebuild the decimated koala population in the region.

"Without help, I don't think the koala population will ever rebuild itself," Mrs Ashton said.

"These koalas will go into an area where they don't have to compete for food.

"Hopefully it will be a really healthy habitat and healthy koala population which will improve their odds of being able to breed successfully."

Mrs Ashton said the koala hospital team was overwhelmed with the kindness, contributions and support of the community.

"It is very moving," she said.

"It just shows how many people from all corners of the world value and care for koalas."

Experts believe up to 350 koalas died when the Crestwood-Lake Cathie bushfire tore through crucial koala habitat.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has 37 fire-affected koalas in care from several fire grounds.

The GoFundMe campaign will also be used to buy a water carrying vehicle to replenish the drinking stations.

Some 100 drinking stations will be installed in the Port Macquarie area with other drinking stations bound for the fire-affected areas of Lismore and Taree.

People can make financial donations through the GoFundMe page and the koala hospital website or in person at the koala hospital kiosk.