"The South Coast is most certainly calling and Mogo is definitely open for business."
That's the word from Mogo Wildlife Park director Chad Staples, who has welcomed the tourism marketing campaign of Australian Community Media, publisher of this newspaper, in which whimsical retro-style art posters by Walkley Award-winning cartoonist David Pope celebrate some of the South Coast holiday spots hit by the summer's bushfires.
Mogo features in today's poster in The Canberra Times.
The Mogo zookeeper, who fought off bushfire on New Year's Eve, said the campaign in The Canberra Times and 50 of ACM's newspapers across NSW "could not have come at a better time".
He described Pope's illustrations of the South Coast as "beautiful and nostalgic".
"After being closed for 61 days during the bushfires, Mogo Wildlife Park is officially reopened for business," Mr Staples said.
"It's been wonderful having visitors back in our park and there's a real buzz about."
Mr Staples and staff spent exhausting hours defending their animals and the park from fire. They faced a huge clean-up, but reopened on February 29.
Pope's "Stand tall in Mogo" artwork depicts a koala clinging to the neck of a giraffe.
The inclusion of a koala, once thought extinct in the area, comes amid reports of a koala sighting at East Lynne, north of Batemans Bay, shortly after fire swept through in early December.
East Lynne Store owner Bede Cooper has no doubt he saw a koala near the Princes Highway.
He told the Bay Post he had walked up a hill to get phone reception and clearly saw a koala feeding with a kangaroo near the side of the road.
His sighting backs up a resident's previous sighting on a forest road behind the store in 2009 - the second report in the Eurobodalla Shire that year.
Several years later there was another report of a male koala calling in the vicinity of Long Beach and the Murramarang National Park. The Murramarang National Park is close to East Lynne. In 2012 a resident recorded audio of a koala about 12 kilometres from Moruya at Wamban Creek.
- Kerrie O'Connor is editor of the Bay Post.