Bear – Koala Hero: What happened to Ember after filming stopped

Host, Tyson Mayr reveals the amazing fighting spirit of Ember the burnt koala. 

Tyson knows too well of the devastating impact the Australian bushfires had over the 2020 New Year, as his own family property was almost destroyed from the flames. 

So when he met the wild koalas that were rescued from near death, the host reveals it struck a very personal chord. Especially when he met Ember. 

"I felt attached to all the koalas, but Ember particularly because she was such a survivor.

"Ember's journey is so special because she had so many different injuries. She was a bushfire victim, and every single thing that could go wrong, she had. She had burnt paws, burnt nails, which in the wild, if you lose your nails, you can't climb a tree and you cant survive. She had smoke inhalation, dehydration, she had clamydia.

"Yet somehow, she managed to survive in an area that had no survival."



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And it wasn't just Tyson who she made an impact on. 

"Right from the start, she was a beacon of hope to all the rescue carers," he says. "She became this real superhero because while she had everything stacked against her, she continued to push through. And I think that restored a lot of hope and positivity within all of the koala community.

"When you're surrounded by so much devastation and death and loss, that one little story restores some faith. It makes you want to help that little more."

And while Ember was a symbol of hope, it was down to the work of the incredible rescue teams and volunteers who dedicate their life to helping vulnerable species survive.

"We don't know much about koalas and it really took a disaster of this magnitue to realise that," Tyson reveals. "Without the help of rescue centres, I just don't know where the koala species would be.

"Koala carers are some of the most passionate and dedicated, environementally friendly people I've ever met.

"James Fitzgerald from IFAW suffered extreme devastation through the fires. His house burnt to the ground, he lost the animals he rescued on his property and now he sleeps in the bush every night by koala trees. Not once did he mention his own loss. 

"It's crucial that we help people like him and the work of Bear from the University of the Sunshine Coast's Detection Dogs for Conservation who finds these koalas. And that's one of the positives from this film. I am grateful that this film is shining awareness to those individuals and organisations that need their help. It's creating opportunities, showing people how they can support this cause."

And since being in the care of these compassionate carers, little Ember has gone from strength to strength. 

"I've been in contact with Friends of Koala near daily," Tyson says. "Ember went for a checkup last week and everything went really well. She’s gained a lot of weight and her wounds have healed well. The only concern is her claws. Soon she'll be put into a kindy plantation or soft release to see if she can climb ok.

"So, she still has more time to go before she's released into the wild, but it's certainly sounding like she will be released soon."

To support the koala detection work of Bear and his team at USC's Detection Dogs for Conservation, you can donate directly here.

Find out more about this incredible story on Bear - Koala Hero On Demand

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