Fires in Australia, Koalas at Risk

Lots of potential in this story today out of  Australia, about koalas being burned in an out-of-control wildfire 250 miles north of Sydney.  Some reports say hundreds of koalas may have been incinerated.

“The victims were carried in one by one, their paws burned and fur singed, suffering from dehydration and fear. Their caretakers bandaged their wounds, swaddled them and laid them in baskets with the only thing that was familiar — the leaves of a eucalyptus tree.

As catastrophic fires have burned more than two million acres in Australia, dozens of koalas have been rescued from smoldering trees and ashen ground. The animals, already threatened as a species before these latest blazes ravaged a crucial habitat, are being treated in rescue centers, and at least one private home, along the country’s east coast.

‘They are terrified,’ said Cheyne Flanagan, the clinical director of the Koala Hospital, in Port Macquarie, the only facility of its kind in the world. She added that what was happening to the koalas was ‘a national tragedy.'”

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