In case you weren’t aware, terrible bushfires have been raging across Australia’s east coast recently, wiping out swathes of natural spaces and even destroying several buildings too. Humans, animals, and plants have all suffered from the raging infernos, with around 2.5 million acres of land affected by the flames.
There’s no telling how many animals have been killed in the fires, but estimates suggest that Australia’s native koala population has been hit particularly hard.
It’s believed that around 350 koalas have been killed after the bushfires raged through one of their prime habitats in New South Wales. Fortunately, good people have been doing all they can to help.
Firefighters have been trying to control and tackle the fires far and wide, with search and rescue workers also doing what they can to protect animals and save any injured koalas they find.
One woman’s recent act of bravery upon seeing a scorched koala has gone viral. It’s a heartbreaking clip, showing the brave woman, named Toni, spotting an injured koala in terrible pain crossing the road, surrounded by flames.
As soon as she saw him, Toni leaped into action. She took off her own shirt, rushing over to the koala and picking him up before taking him to a safer area and pouring cool water over him to try and ease some of his pain.
The poor koala is crying out throughout the video and is clearly in terrible distress, but without Toni’s help, the situation could have been a lot worse for this little guy.
Koalas have a tendency to climb up trees when they feel threatened, which puts them in grave danger when fires strike as it leaves them totally trapped as the flames close in. This particular koala was also trying to climb a tree when Toni grabbed it.
After doing what she could to help it, she rushed it off to the local Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. The hospital later released a statement, thankfully confirming that the little guy was doing okay:
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.
Toni deserves a lot of credit for her actions, and she’s just one of many volunteers who are heading out into fire-affected areas to try and help animals in need.
So far, the heroes have brought more than 30 koalas to the Koala Hospital, where they have received life-saving treatment for burn wounds and dehydration.
The hospital also set up a GoFundMe to raise money for automatic drinking stations that can be set up in burnt areas to provide water for the animals in need. The campaign’s goal was just $25,000, but it’s raised close to a million already, thanks to the kindness and generosity of people from around the globe.
You can see Toni’s rescue of the koala in the clip below, but be warned that the images may be upsetting for some viewers.
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