Koala Rescue Photo Emerges Amid Australia’s Scorched Earth Crisis

Koala

You may have heard about the fires that have consumed a huge amount of land in Australia’s Victoria state. The death toll from the fires may exceed 200:

“Police have so far confirmed 181 deaths as the fires ripped across the southern state of Victoria on Saturday. But the state’s premier, John Brumby, said more than 50 people remained missing Tuesday afternoon.”

Animals, of course, are suffering as well. I imagine you’ll soon be seeing this photo everywhere:

“The koala moved gingerly on scorched paws, crossing the blackened landscape as the fire patrol passed. Clearly in pain, the animal stopped when it saw firefighter David Tree following behind. ‘It was amazing, he turned around, sat on his bum and sort of looked at me with (a look) like, put me out of my misery,’ Tree told The Associated Press on Tuesday. ‘I yelled out for a bottle of water. I unscrewed the bottle, tipped it up on his lips and he just took it naturally. He kept reaching for the bottle, almost like a baby.’ The team called animal welfare officers as it resumed its patrols on Sunday, the day after deadly firestorms swept southern Victoria state. ‘I love nature, and I’ve handled koalas before. They’re not the friendliest things, but I wanted to help him,’ Tree said.”

Police are working to determine how many of the fires may have been set by arsonists.

Comments

  1. sparks says

    I hope the little guy pulls through. It’s heartbreaking the sort of catastrophic effects humans can have on nature. We need all the David Trees we can get.

  2. MT says

    It’s just heartbreaking to imagine some idiot set at least some of those fires. If ever there was a case of someone who no longer deserves to be part of the human race, it is that person.

  3. TANK says

    Wow, that’s an evocative photo. Koala’s are mean little bastards for the most part. Not as mean as some other marsupials like devils, but cranky nonetheless.

  4. Yeek says

    They are notoriously vicious – though not as bad as chimpanzees. If it’d been healthier it probably would have torn the guy’s head off and guzzled blood.

    Still, definitely cute. Get that critter some eucalyptus leaves.

  5. Kyle Michel Sullivan says

    It’s horrific, what’s happening down under. Having lived in LA through a couple of nasty fires, I can only hope this will be the end of it. I’d never wish this sort of horror on anyone — man or beast.

  6. TANK says

    In general, I agree..but people are just animals. The only real distinction between the complexity of table manners and the dynamics the persist in a murder of crows is our bias toward thinking that table manners separate us from the beasts. Speciesism…is a terrible thing.

  7. Steve says

    The human death toll is now expected to go over 300 after 1 in 5 people were killed in the town of Maryville.

    Wildlife and stock deaths are estimated in the millions

  8. Steve says

    The human death toll is now expected to go over 300 after 1 in 5 people were killed in the town of Maryville.

    Wildlife and stock deaths are estimated in the millions

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