Fundraiser To Help Koala Hospital Dealing With Bushfires Hits $140,000 In Donations
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Australians have come together to help one of the country's iconic animals in its time of need.
Catastrophic fires have burned through more than 150 homes and killed three people so far.
The blazes on the New South Wales mid-north coast have also done untold damage to the local koala population. Estimates place the death toll around 350 with experts warning the population might never recover from such a wipe-out.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been doing everything it can to support the koalas that have survived that massive infernos and now their work can continue.
More than $140,000 in donations have been pledged since the start of the month, thanks to an online fundraiser.
Wendy Afford started the fundraiser and wrote: "One way to help surviving koalas and other wildlife is to provide access to water to reduce further deaths from dehydration.
"The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital would like to raise money to purchase and distribute automatic drinking stations which will assist in helping koala and wildlife survival.
"Money raised will be used to distribute the drinking stations in the fire affected region. If enough money is raised, it will distribute to other significant koala habitat areas across the State.
"With rising temperatures and increasingly dry conditions worsening across the State, access to water is essential for survival."
Hopefully the funds, which continue to pour in, will go a long way in helping the koalas that are still alive.
But experts are worried about the future of the marsupial population in the area.
The koalas in the region are described as some of the most genetically diverse in the country, so this massive loss of life will be devastating for future generations.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital clinical director Cheyne Flanagan told the Daily Telegraph: "The fires are at such a high intensity, we're not finding any bodies. They're completely incinerated to ash.
"I don't know if the koala population will ever recover, there's still three months of summer still to go."
Many places around New South Wales are on high alert today as catastrophic conditions have been forecast.
Firefighters will be up against dry, hot and windy weather, sparking fears embers could travel long distances and start more bushfires. Firefighters have been working around the clock to get as many blazes as possible under control.