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Austin, a koala, sits quietly atop his “gunyah” — or shelter — built from tree branches and bark in his enclosure at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

Sue Ashton, president of the privately run clinic, says the fact Austin has climbed to the top of his gunyah is a sign he’s on the mend. But the furry marsupial holds onto his branch tentatively with still-sore paws, and his dull, singed fur reveals patches of burnt skin underneath.

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