In case you haven’t kept up with the news lately, Australia is currently experiencing widespread wildfires with temperatures reaching more than 104 Farenheights. According to authorities, at least six people have died due to the fire and 577 homes have been destroyed. Although that is devastating in itself, fire experts have stated that wildlife seems to be suffering even more.
Wildfires have burned through more than 2.5 million acres of Australia’s east coast, injuring vulnerable species like koalas. A woman was recently caught on video saving a burning Koala by literally taking off her shirt and running towards the animal. Toni Doherty was passing by the area when she noticed the animal and acted on instinct to try to save him.
Doherty stated that she knew if she didn’t get him down from the tree, he would have been up there amongst the brush fire. The video shows the woman running towards the koala and removing him from a tree branch without flinching. He appears to be badly burned with scabs all over its body. She then gives him water to drink and wash his body off before wrapping him up in her shirt. Yes, this Australian woman didn’t think twice about it one bit. Talk about a true hero.
The incident took place in Port Macquarie, which is a town in New South Wales, that is currently being hit by Australian bushfires. The koala, who Doherty named Lewis after her grandson, was taken to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Lewis did suffer from serious burns but was well enough to “have a munch on some eucalyptus leaves.”
The koala is currently listed as “vulnerable” species by Australia’s Environment Ministry. Unfortunately, the recent fires are thought to have killed hundreds of these adorable animals. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has set up a GoFundMe page to help these koalas, where it has received over $900,000 in donations and has received at least 31 injured koalas due to the wildfires. The money raised is being used to install several automatic drinking stations in burnt areas in order to help koala and other wildlife survive through the wildfires.