Sadly, it is the time of the year when Australia is repeatedly pla-gued with out of control bush fires.These natural fires cause dev-astation around the country every year, with hundreds of homes being destroyed and hundreds of miles of forests being completely torn apart. It’s not only us humans that are a-ffected by these fires, but it’s also the wildlife too. A video has gone viral this week of a helpless koala bear trying to escape its home that is eng-ulfed in flames when a brave woman saves the unfortunate creature with the shirt off her own back.
In the midst of destruction and devastation, one selfless woman quite literally gave the shirt off her back to save a sc-orched and scre-aming koala. While bush f!res continued to rage across Australia’s east coast, one little koala was trying to cross a road close to Long Flat, 49km west of Port Macquarie, NSW. Surrounded by flames, the !nju-red animal looked hopelessly vulnerable. It was then that a local woman – Toni Doherty- rushed to the koala’s aid. R!sking her own safety, she whipped off her shirt and used it to wrap up the wailing koala. Toni then used a water bottle to cool its burnt skin and quench its thirst.
Toni proceeded to take the scorched koala, now dubbed ‘Lewis’, after one of her grandsons, to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, a specialist facility currently treating a number of !nj-ured koalas. The hospital has now treated Lewis but his health ‘hangs in the balance’, 9News reports. Toni’s heroic help was captured on camera, with the resulting footage having reduced many people to tears. One person praised Toni for ‘acting so quickly and dec-isively’, while another spoke movingly of how their ‘heart ac-hes for this planet’. Toni has now reunited with Lewis after receiving treatment for his bu*ns.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has now launched a fundraiser via GoFundMe to raise money for koalas who have su-ffered as a result of the recent fires. On the GoFundMe page, the hospital described the fires as being a ‘national tragedy’ which has left a genetically div-erse koala population devas-tated. As many as 350 koalas have d!ed, with an approximate 75percent of the foreground footprint said to have encroached on prime koala habitat.
Some of the funds will go towards the construction of a ‘Koala Ark’, a facility where surv!ving koalas to live within a healthy habitat area. It’s hoped these koalas will go on to breed, with a new population of koalas eventually returned to the wild. The New South Wales fire service is currently fighting blazes which cover over 3.2 million acres and have stated they’ve seen more fires this season than the past three put together. The fires have been attributed to a dro-ught that has gone on for over two years.