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Naming Day for special Koala joey

A Mallacoota student whose family lost their home in the devastating 2019/20 bushfires has been given the chance to meet and officially name Phillip Island Nature Parks’ newest Koala joey at the Koala Conservation Reserve on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island Nature Parks invited Mallacoota P12 College students to come up with a name for the little girl joey and the winning class called her MISO – which stands for ‘Mallacoota Inlet Survivor Otways’ in recognition of the joey’s parents.

Mallacoota P12 College student Chloe, 8, who came up with the name with her classmates, visited the Nature Parks for a behind the scenes tour and special meet and greet with MISO. Click here to view video.

MISO’s dad Roger came to the Nature Parks early in 2020 to be cared for by rangers after being badly injured in the Black Summer bushfires, while mum Ottie was translocated from the Otway Ranges in 2015 as an orphan after the death of her mum.

Nature Parks Conservation Manager, Jessica McKelson, said MISO was now around 12 months old and thriving, along with her parents in their new environment.

“Out of the devastation of the fires, it’s wonderful for us to see new life. Naming the joey is a big step forward for the recovery of the koalas who were impacted by the catastrophic and unforgettable fires,” Ms McKelson said.

“We asked Mallacoota P12 College students to help us find a name for Roger’s baby joey given his connection to the area – and we think MISO is just the perfect name for her.”

“I am excited to meet Miso because she will be so cute and it’s nice her koala dad is ok from the fires,” Chloe said.

"It’s going to be so humbling to meet little Miso and knowing her father is doing okay after the fires is just wonderful too. We can’t wait. Something beautiful to come out of something so devastating,” Mum Tessa Hurst said.

Roger, Ottie and MISO live in a semi-wild enclosure at the Koala Conservation Reserve where visitors are invited come and see the little family – from a distance, as they can usually be found high up in the trees.

The special purpose enclosure was built with funding from WWF Australia following the bushfires, to provide a natural environment for severely injured koalas to recover before the last step of their release into the wild.

The Nature Parks worked in partnership with Zoos Victoria on the recovery and rehabilitation of koalas injured in the bushfires, including Roger.

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