The Red List of Threatened Species had already classified the koala as vulnerable, but the koala is being threatened even more by devastating bush fires that have already burned more than 2.5 million acres of Australia’s east coast.
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.
Toni 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.
Over 2.5 million acres of land have been burned thus far.
Many Koala’s are stuck in the middle of the raging fires.
It is said that as many as 350 koala’s have died in the wild fires.
Search and rescue teams are working around the clock to save the animals, as are locals.
Over 30 koala’s have been rescued thus far and treated at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for dehydration and burns.
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 wildlife survive.
A GoFundMe account set up to raise money for rescue efforts has already raised over $880k. The goal was just $25k.
Koala’s are especially in danger when it comes to wild fires because they instinctively climb to the top of trees, which is the worst place to be during a wild fire.
Even if they survive at the top of a tree, they still have to come down and walk across the burning earth floor.
Thankfully, the world is full of kind people, like Toni, who are looking out for the koala’s.