Makeshift Rescue Centre Built In School To Save Koalas From Bushfires
A school hall has been transformed into a makeshift rescue centre for koalas caught in the bushfires.
It's estimated that more than one billion animals have died as a result of the wildfires that have swept across Australia over the past few months.
But volunteers at a school in Adelaide have been working round the clock, caring for more than 100 - named and documented - koalas they found burnt and dehydrated in the aftermath of last month's Adelaide Hills fire.
According to reports at 7News, more than 150 volunteers, including the support of around 80 trained veterinary staff, have erected dozens of tents to treat the animals.
They have also set up an intensive care unit and a burns unit, as well as a chlamydia section, a baby section, and indoor and outdoor trees for the animals to climb.
Earlier this week, a video was posted on Reddit showed two cousins travelling around one of the areas worst hit by the Australian bushfires collecting koalas and taking them to safety in their car.
The short video shows a car filled with koalas that have been rescued in a car. It was filmed on Kangaroo Island, known as Australia's answer to the Galapagos Islands because of the rich biodiversity present there.
Around half of Kangaroo Island is thought to have been destroyed by the fires. It's estimated that more than 20,000 koalas have died, over half of the island's 50,000-strong population, but these lads made sure it didn't spell the end for at least some of them.
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The two boys in question are 19-year-old Micah and 18-year-old Caleb. While we're not exactly sure how many koalas they managed to rescue, they reckon that it's around 20.
Of that number, six of the poor marsupials were orphaned and two of them were mothers with children.
As well as rescuing them, they're going to look after them until they can return to the wild, and refuse to take them off the island because it would further hurt an already decimated local population.
Their cousin, who shared the video originally, said they left behind any animals that seemed to be OK.
They worked on the criteria that any animals that didn't have burns and were active, mature and responded quickly were still able to fend for themselves. That meant more vulnerable koalas were the first to be saved.
The bushfires have touched the lives of animal lovers around the world.
Sharnia-Mae Sturm, from Atlanta, the United States, posted the heart-rending sketch to her Instagram account on New Year's Eve to help raise awareness of the devastating impact the fires are having on the country's wildlife.
The illustration shows the late Steve Irwin greeting a host of the country's animals that have perished in the fires, including kangaroos, koalas and others.
Kneeling down with his arms wife open, the Crocodile Hunter can be seen saying: "Don't worry little guys! I'll take care of you!"
Featured Image Credit: 7News
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