Miami Zoo Renames Baby Koala 'Hope,' Donates $10,000 to Help Animals Devastated by Australia Wildfires
Hope the koala is offering up a little bit of good news amid Australia's devastating wildfires.
The baby koala was born at Zoo Miami on May 30 and was originally named Joey.
But when the little one emerged from its mother's pouch for the first time recently, zookeepers felt the world could use a little more hope.
An estimated 1 billion animals have been killed in Australia's bushfires, according to Professor Chris Dickman, an expert on Australian mammals at the University of Sydney.
"What we're seeing are the effects of climate change. Sometimes, it's said that Australia is the canary in the coal mine with the effects of climate change being seen here most severely and earliest," Dickman told NPR.
"We know that Australian biodiversity has been going down over the last several decades, and it's probably fairly well known that Australia's got the world's highest rate of extinction for mammals. It's events like this that may well hasten the extinction process for a range of other species. So, it's a very sad time," he added.
World Wildlife Fund Australia is accepting donations to help animals affected by the fires.
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