A young boy has managed to raise a significant amount of money for the Australian bushfire crisis relief by making clay koalas at his home.
6-year-old Owen Colley from Massachusetts was left heartbroken after learning that millions of animals have lost their lives due to fires in Australia.
Determined to make a change for the better, young Colley from Hingham started creating mini clay koalas with the help of his mum, Caitlin.
As little Owen revealed, the koalas he and his mom make are awarded to people who donate at least $50, whereas all donations received go towards Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a volunteer-run organization that specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating Australian native wildlife.
“We’re seeing all of the donations coming in and we’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we don’t have the clay,’” the boy’s proud mum said in an interview with CNN.
“We have every intention to fulfil every koala, it just won’t happen by tomorrow. It’s a six-year-old using his little hands to make the spaces and the ears, so it does take time.”
As the family explained, all koalas are handmade by Owen whereas each piece takes him around four minutes to make, excluding the time it takes to bake them in the oven.
“I want them to know more about Australia and I want them to know more about what animals are in Australia,” the boy added, explaining the reason behind his generous actions.
The 6-year-old’s fundraiser can be found on GoFundMe under the name ‘Owen’s Australian Creature Rescue.’ As of this writing, people have already donated over $170,000.
According to the updated estimations, over one billion animals, including reptiles, birds, mammals, and dozens of other animal species, have died in Australia’s bushfires since September.
As the University of Sydney ecologists previously suggested, an estimate of 480 million animals, including reptiles, birds, and mammals, have died due to raging fires in recent months.
Included in the death toll are also tens of thousands of koalas that are thought to have been either burned or starved to death following the loss of their natural habitat.
Now, however, the situation appears to be even grimmer as ecologist Chris Dickman revealed that the initial figure was based on the state of NSW alone and didn’t incorporate frogs, bats, and several other vital animal species.
“The original figure – the 480m – was based on mammals, birds and reptiles for which we do have densities, and that figure now is a little bit out of date. It’s over 800m given the extent of the fires now – in New South Wales alone. If 800m sounds a lot, it’s not all the animals in the firing line,” he told Huffington Post.
Allegedly, the number is well over one billion “without any doubt at all” provided that other Australian states as well as frogs, bats, and invertebrates are included in the calculations.
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