Hundreds Of Koalas Killed As Australia Is Savaged By Bush Fires
Hundreds of koala bears are believed to have been burned alive in Australian bushfires.
The fires have wipes out half of the koalas living on a coastal reserve in New South Wales as a record number of intense fires rage around the Australian state.
According to Reuters, a blaze at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve has destroyed two-thirds of the koalas' habitat, leaving the rest under threat from one of 15 major blazes in the southeastern state.
Koala Conservation Australia estimates that around 350 koalas living on the reserve in the north coast town of Port Macquarie have died. President Sue Ashton said there was a total population of 500 to 600 koalas in the reserve prior to the blaze.
Animal carers at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital nearby have been nursing rescued koalas, bandaging their wounds and feeding them eucalyptus leaves and formula.
Amanda Gordon, who leads the team of carers, said: "We look for signals of pain - teeth grinding, distress - and we just take it on a day-by-day basis.
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"Sometimes koalas seem to be doing really, really well. Their paws might be healing up but if something's going on that we can't see there's not really much we can do."
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has set up a Gofundme page and have urged people to donate to purchase and distribute drinking stations in a bid to help koala and wildlife survival.
The account has currently raised over $34,000 AUD (£18,200/$23,300 USD) and they 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. Please help to enable the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to undertake this project. All assistance is greatly appreciated."
In an update they wrote: "Searching of the fire site has started and 7 koalas have been brought to the Hospital for treatment. L.I.N.R (Lake Innes Nature Reserve) Paul was the first admitted with burnt feet and hands. Paul was dehydrated and this photo is of him receiving some fluids.
"Thank you for your donations which will go towards purchasing automatic drinking stations to help surviving wildlife stay hydrated."
Featured Image Credit: Wildcare Austrlia Inc.