A burned koala has been rescued from a rural area of Australia, having been found protecting its baby from the bushfires that have been ravaging Queensland and New South Wales.
The poor creatures were found by police in Canungra, in the Gold Coast hinterland, on Friday afternoon.
The mother koala had suffered burns to her back and also had a singed ear, and was discovered sitting on a fallen tree with its joey - who miraculously remained uninjured.
Senior-Sergeant Peter Waugh told the Beaudesert Times: "Everything was burnt to the ground around them."
"When we found her it looked like she was lying on top of her young - as if she was cradling it."
Wildcare Australia Inc. shared a photo of the koalas, crediting Jimboomba police officer Darren Ward - who said he found the animals in shock, clinging to the branch on the ground.
Ward added: "There was singeing to the fur, and singeing to the ears... but the baby seemed quite well protected."
The koalas spent a bit of time in the back of his police car before wildcare volunteers were able to take over.
Wildcare Australia Inc. Wrote on Facebook: "This koala mum and her joey were rescued last night by Jimboomba Police and Wildcare volunteers in the Gold Coast Hinterland Bushfires.
"They were taken to the RSPCA Queensland wildlife hospital for treatment and are being monitored closely. They are both in a stable condition at present."
The organisation later posted to say another koala in the area had also been successfully rescued, saying: "Another koala caught up in the bushfires in the Gold Coast Hinterland has been rescued.
"She's now in the safe hands of Wildcare Australia Inc."
Our firefighters are working around the clock. Leave your messages for them below! :point_down:- Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) September 9, 2019
:camera_with_flash: Tallebudgera Valley Rural Fire Brigade pic.twitter.com/1TFrFxxGJt
Kaye Healing, a spokeswoman for the Rural Fire Service, said crews around Canungra were exhausted - with winds still gusting up to 50km an hour.
She said: "They're fatigued and it's extremely stressful.
"They're members of these communities and they've watched houses burn down and there hasn't been a damn thing they could do about it."
According to CNN, the country is currently battling over 100 wildfires across the two states, with authorities warning that the blazes are an 'omen' of what's to come.
Andrew Sturgess, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services' predictive services inspector, said that in around 130 years of records, Queensland - one of the states affected - has never seen fires this severe this early in spring.
He added: "It is an historic event.
"This is an omen if you will, a warning of the fire season we are likely to see ahead in the southeastern parts of the state, the driest parts of the state, where most of our population lives."
Featured Image Credit: Wildcare Austrlia Inc.
Topics: World News, News, Bushfires, Animals, Australia