Amid all the COVID-19-related madness, it’s wild to think that the bushfires were this year. Still, Aussie wildlife and habitats are slowly rebuilding in the aftermath of the fires’ brutal devastation.

But in a much-welcomed sign that things are slowly returning to normal, The Australian Reptile Park has welcomed its first koala joey since the bushfires.

Everyone, meet the aptly-named Ash.

Image: The Australian Reptile Park

Aaaaaaaaand now I’m crying.

“Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season. Last year, we had seven healthy koala joeys and we’re very keen to help bolster their numbers after wild populations were ravaged during the horrific bushfire season,” Australian Reptile Park Zookeeper Dan Rumsey said.

“Her mother Rosie has shown exemplary parenting skills and we know that Ash is in good paws.” My normally-cold heart is starting to warm a little.

Fun fact: Ash is already ‘papping’, which is a unique process in which the joey eats its mum’s “specialised form of faeces” (AKA eats a bunch of mum poop). Love that for him.

Image: The Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park, which has been closed for two months amid the pandemic, will be reopening its doors next Monday (June 1). Although daily shows have been suspended to appease social distancing regulations, the wildlife park is offering free 60-minute guided tours. More info over on their website here.

Image: Australian Reptile Park