An Australian hospital has been touched by all the generous support they’ve received to help koalas that have been affected by the bushfires in South Wales, Australia.
Last month, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital started a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $25,000 to help treat koalas who had been rescued from the wildfires — and so far, they’ve raised over $1.6 million.
“We are overwhelmed and humbled with gratitude for the support and care shown by people from all over the world,” the hospital wrote in an update last week, adding that the “generous donations” have enabled them to purchase many “automatic drinking stations” to place in areas that have been burnt by the fires.
The drinking stations will help dehydrated koalas, who get almost all of their moisture from eucalyptus — much of which has been destroyed by the blazes.
Some of the funds are also being used to help the hospital establish a breeding program to help maintain the “functionally extinct” species.
The hospital also gave an update on a young koala saved by an Australian woman earlier this month.
After spotting the animal crossing the road — and heading towards a group of burning trees — Toni Doherty jumped into action, running into the woods and wrapping the koala in the shirt off her back. Once she got the marsupial to safety, she poured water all over him to cool his burns, and then took the koala — whom she named Lewis after one of her grandkids — to the hospital.
“After treatment at the hospital, Lewis is now receiving round-the-clock care,” the hospital wrote, adding that his “prognosis is guarded as he sustained significant burns.”
Recently, bushfires have ravaged Australia’s east coast, burning right through prime koala habitat.
As many as 350 koalas have died as a result of the fires, according to the hospital, which added that 31 koalas affected by the recent fires had been brought to them for treatment so far.
When koalas are brought to the hospital, they are “rehydrated” and then examined and treated for burns.
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