Updated: November 16, 2019 1:52:02 pm
As bushfires in Australia’s New South Wales continue to ravage the nation’s east coast, damaging homes and destroying acres of land, animals in the forests too are one of the worst affected. However, one man’s act of kindness towards an injured koala is being hailed online.
Koalas, native to the island continent, have faced the brunt of the blaze over the past week as many have succumbed to injuries, either due to burns or smoke inhalation. However, this man’s quick thinking saved an injured koala after he offered water to the bereaved animal.
“There you go, you’re so badly singed aren’t you?” the man can be heard saying in the video shared by Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. “She arrived very dehydrated and is now in the 5-star service burns ward at the Koala Hospital,” staff wrote on Facebook naming the koala Kate.
The short clip was filmed in the Bellangry State Forest after the man rescued the native marsupial, who suffered severe burns on his back, face and paws. After offering the animal much-needed water, the man, identified as Darrel, wrapped the koala in a blanket and rushed it to a hospital for further treatment.
According to Reuters, at least 350 koalas living at Lake Innes Nature Reserve were wiped out. This is a huge casualty given there were roughly 600 alive before the fire started. Animal caretakers from the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital searched the reserve for surviving koalas, almost all of which sustained severe burns and are now recovering in the medical centre.
In NSW’s Taree, another medical centre is helping the native animals. A husband and wife duo behind Koalas In Care has turned their home into a make-shift burn unit to treat the injured animals. Christeen and Paul McLeod currently have dozens of koalas, who are either affected by smoke inhalation or suffered severe burns.
The duo, which has been taking care of the native animals for last 27 years, said it’s a time-consuming process but an important job. “This is the gruesome task of having to clean up burns and treat them and hope that their little paws recover,” Christeen told ABC News as she swabbed the burnt paws of Sootie, the latest koala brought in.
“It’s better to have them sedated so you can get it done without too much stress to them. They’ve already been through a lot of stress in the fire,” she added.
Both the caregiving centres are posting regular updates on social media to keep followers updated about the injured koalas treatment progress and to seek donations for necessary supplies and funds.
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