he Red List of Threatened Species had already classified the koala as vulnerable, but the species is being threatened even more by devastating bushfires that have already burned more than 2.5 million acres of Australia’s east coast.
But one recent act of bravery has given the country hope in fighting the blaze. After spotting a koala crossing a road amongst the flames in New South Wales, a local woman named Toni rushed to the animal’s aid, wrapping it in her shirt and pouring water over it.
The hero 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.
Devastating bushfires have already burned more than 2.5 million acres of Australia’s east coast
The koala population have had it particularly bad
As many as 350 koalas are feared to have died from bushfires that ripped through a vital koala habitat in New South Wales
Search and rescue teams are working the area non-stop
So far, they’ve brought at least 31 koalas to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to be treated for burns and dehydration
The hospital and a few other organizations created a GoFundMe campaign to purchase automatic drinking stations and install them in the burnt areas to help in koala and wildlife survival
However, since people have already raised over $879,000 (the goal was $25,000), the project is being expanded
Volunteer groups are also taking in koalas found burned and dehydrated after the fires
Koalas are especially vulnerable to the fires because they instinctively climb to the tops of trees, straight into the heat
Even if they survive the fires, they still have to walk across scorched earth when they come down
“This male koala who was so disorientated by the flames and unfortunately was burnt further as he headed back into 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
Twitter is in tears after seeing the woman’s heroic actions
Image credits: suzenelson_suze