Australian firefighters have been battling raging brushfires for several months now and it is a daunting battle that has already claimed several lives and untold damage to property. However, the tragedy is not limited to humans but also to wildlife whose homes have been burned to a crisp and have suffered horrible deaths through burning or severe injuries because of the fires.
The sight of koalas hanging on for dear life as the fires raged around them has struck a chord that has resounded around the world. Now, even people from other countries are trying to do their part to help, like a quilter who organized her community in The Netherlands to make mittens for koalas that have suffered burns.
But as with every tragedy, there are stories of hope and one of them is that of Ainslee the mother koala and her joey Rupert, who are set to be released back into the wild.
The pair were found cowering on a fallen tree as the out-of-control blazes obliterated their habitat in Canungra, in southeast Queensland, in September.
Fortunately, firefighters were able to rescue the nine-year-old Ainslee and Rupert and were transported to RSPCA Queensland. Because Ainslee was able to shelter Rupert, the young koala only suffered from smoke inhalation.
However, Ainslee suffered burnt paws and her hair was singed all over her body. But the timely treatment has helped both mother and joey recover to the point that they can soon be released back into the wild.
In an interview with ABC, carer Sam Longman described how protective Ainslee was of her joey.
“If he gets himself into a pickle and starts to yip, which is the koala equivalent of crying, she becomes quite alert and responsive,” Longman said.
When the pair was first brought to the RSPCA, Ainslee was given a regimen of multivitamins and supplements to speed up her healing. Because of that, her paws have healed and most of her fur started growing back.
As for Rupert, he has come out of his shell and even started playing with the other joeys although the one-year-old still runs back to his mother so that they can cuddle as they sleep at night. Normally, joeys leave their mother at 18 months.
Because the law requires koalas to be released within five kilometers from where they had been rescued, Longman worries about what the koalas will be returning to because of the devastation that the fires have wrought.
“I think it’s fantastic they will be released but scary at the same time. Where they came from, there’s nothing left,” she said.
Recommended Video For You!
“Heart Melting Moment Of A 13-Week-Old Baby Saying ‘I Love You’ To Her Mother”