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Subject: No more room service' as Jeremy the koala returns to the wild

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/30/15 at 8:07 pm

A young koala who became a social media sensation after being pictured receiving treatment for his burnt paws has been released back into the wild.

The animal, nicknamed Jeremy, was injured in bushfires in Australia's Adelaide Hills earlier this month.

He has since made a complete recovery, says Aaron Machado, who operates the clinic that treated the animal.

"The only thing he has to do now is get used to not having any more room service," Mr Machado told the BBC.

The koala was nicknamed after Jeremy Sparrow, a fire service volunteer who rescued him earlier this month.

Jeremy was treated for burns to the paws at the Australian Marine Wildlife Research and Rescue Organisation (AMWRRO) in Port Melbourne.

A photograph of him, lying flat on his front with all four paws soaking in a medical solution, was widely shared on social media.

Mr Machado, the president of AMWRRO, said it was important to make sure the koala's wounds did not get infected, given that it has a "very poor, if not obsolete, immune system".

"It's one thing having a burn, another thing having an infected burn," he said.

Mr Machado said the koala was initially wary of his rescuers.

"He had a big attitude," he said. However, the koala became easier to manage "once he was over that initial shock and he realised that we weren't going to eat him".

"We realised he wasn't just big grumpy bum, he actually had a big heart."

Hundreds of animals are believed to have been killed in the bushfires in South Australia this month.

The fires raged across some 12,500 hectares (30,888 acres) of land, about 30 minutes drive south east of Adelaide.

More than 100 people received hospital treatment, while at least 32 homes were destroyed.

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