We can all agree that the recent fires around the country have been nothing but absolutely devastating in many ways. Our hearts break for and go out to all those affected and displaced.
Alongside feelings of despair during crises like these, we often experience helplessness, thinking things like, “What can one, single person do to help?”
One person alone may not have much power, but when we unite together, humanity becomes a force to be reckoned with.
An example of this is the number of generous souls who decided to donate, even a little, to a fundraiser for Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which is working hard to take care of all the koalas hurt and displaced by this natural disaster.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been overwhelmed by the kindness, good wishes and support from the Australian and international community for the wildlife icon, the koala.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and National Parks and Wildlife Service crew leaders, have spent weeks searching for koalas following the devastating bush fires in the Port Macquarie area.
The video below depicts a woman risking her own safety to save one such koala, who has since unfortunately lost his life.
Please note some people may find the footage distressing.
On admittance to the hospital, a koala is rehydrated and then the following day examined for burns which are treated with burns cream before they are bandaged. The dressings are changed every three days.
Initially, the hospital’s aim was to raise money to purchase and distribute automatic drinking stations which will be installed in the burnt areas to help in koala and wildlife survival.
The number of drinking stations being built has now been increased and they will be shared with other wildlife organisations in fire affected regions across New South Wales. Two are being built for dispatch to the northern rivers fire area next week.
They are also purchasing a water carrying vehicle with fire fighting capabilities to replenish the drinking stations with water as needed.
Donations have now reached an incredible amount and the Koala Hospital is extending the project to establish a wild koala breeding program.
In what is a national tragedy, the bushfires in and around Port Macquarie in November devastated a genetically diverse koala population. As many as 350 koalas have perished with approximately 75% of the fireground footprint being prime koala habitat.
Some of the funds raised through the Go Fund Me site will be directed to building a ‘Koala Ark’, a facility to allow the surviving koalas to be accommodated in a healthy habitat area.
Hopefully, these koalas will breed and a new population of koalas will be established for return to the wild.