Petition to Jacinda Ardern calls for koalas to be introduced to NZ as Australia's bushfires rage on

Source: 1News

A petition to Jacinda Ardern calling for koala bears to be introduced to New Zealand eucalyptus plantations has gathered more than 4000 signatures.

It comes as devastating bushfires have affected the population of a huge number of animals native to Australia.

The Koala Relocation Society started the petition  a week ago saying “koalas are functionally extinct in Australia, and could thrive in New Zealand, as many other Australasian species do”.

It’s estimated hundreds of thousands, even millions of animals have perished in the fires ravaging parts of Australia.

“New Zealand has 28,575 hectares planted in eucalypts, most is located in the Central North Island, and are similar to much older forests from Australia, as they grow fast here,” the petition read.

However, don't get too excited - New Zealand's Prime Minister isn't quite ready to join the cause.

A spokesperson for Jacinda Ardern says the focus right now is “providing firefighters and defence logistics to assist getting the fires under control”.

“Our focus is getting the fires under control so they [the koalas] can stay in their natural habitat," the spokesperson told 1 NEWS today.

"Ms Ardern is currently on leave while Parliament is shut for the holidays but has been maintaining an active watch on the situation with the fires, including keeping in contact with the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison."