Woman Uses Shirt Off Her Own Back To Save A Scorched Koala From Devastating Bushfires

Woman Uses Shirt Off Her Own Back To Save A Scorched Koala From Devastating Bushfires

A woman took off her own shirt to rescue a burning koala from the bushfires which have blanketed 2.5M acres of Australia's East Coast.

Devastating bushfires have engulfed parts of Australia and have been leaving a trail of burns and damages. However, one recent act of bravery and kindness has ensured the world that there's hope, in humanity and to fight the blaze. A local woman, named Toni, is breaking the internet for rescuing a burning and wailing koala from the flames at New South Wales, according to HuffPost. Toni rushed to the animal's aid and she took her shirt to carry the scorched and screaming koala to safety, away from the fire and poured water all over it. Toni then said she was planning to take the injured koala to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, a facility that is taking care of up to 15 affected koalas.


The Red List of Threatened Species had already classified the koala as vulnerable, and now the species are further threatened due to the bushfires that have already burned more than 2.5 million acres of Australia’s East Coast. As of now, it has been estimated that nearly 350 koalas have died in the bushfires that have blanketed a vital koala habitat in New South Wales. 


Search and rescue teams are working relentlessly in the affected areas. So far, at least 31 koalas have been brought to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to be treated for burns and dehydration. Several volunteers are also helping by taking in koalas found burnt and dehydrated after the fires. Koalas, in particular, are more vulnerable to fires because they tend to climb to the tops of trees, which is straight into the heat. 


When they climb back down after the fire has subsided, they have to make their way through the scorching heat on the surface. “This male koala who was so disorientated by the flames and unfortunately was burnt further as he headed back into an active fire. He has been called Ellenborough Lewis (after her grandchild). He has been treated and is now in the five-star accommodation at the Koala Hospital”, reported the doctors from Koala Hospital Port Macquarie.


Climate change which has led to warmer weather, makes conditions worse for koalas, as deforestation has narrowed habitable areas, said James Tremain of the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales. “Devastating bushfires are going to knock out some of these key population centers, but so will increasing temperatures,” he said, by affecting the nutrition value of the leaves that are the animals’ sole food source.


A Cattle Dog cross-breed named Bear in Queensland has been trained to find and save injured koalas. Bear has also been trained to locate quolls and other small Australian marsupials in the wild. This year alone, Bear has found dozens of koalas in need and for research purposes, but he is yet to find any since he started his bushfire deployment earlier this month. You can also donate to Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires via GoFundMe. 


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