What About the Animals?

As sad as it is to hear about 100's of humans dying and even more homes lost, but what about the animals? There would be thousands of dead native and non native animals dead and millions of trees and habitats. There is a picture around which shows that wild animals can trust a human when needed, this makes me cry!

CFA firefighter David Tree shares his water with a koala injured in a bushfire at Mirboo North. Photo / AP


Firefighter David Tree was patrolling a burned-out forest near Mirboo North, about 150 kilometres east of Melbourne when he noticed a koala moving gingerly on scorched paws.

Clearly in pain, the animal stopped when it saw Tree.

"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. "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 to pick up the koala 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.

Often mistakenly called koala bears because they resemble a child's teddy bear, the marsupial is actually a rather grumpy creature with a loud growl. It rarely comes down from the trees and doesn't like walking.

Koalas are especially vulnerable to wildfires because they move slowly on the ground.

The wildfires cut through parks and forests and sent countless wombats and other native species fleeing. One resident reported seeing kangaroos bouncing down the road with flames at their backs.

The fires also razed farmland, killing or panicking sheep and cattle. Television footage showed cows running down the main street of a smoke-filled town.

A count of the animals killed has not been made.

Koalas normally drink almost no water because they get almost all their fluids from the leaves they eat.

After the scorched koala sipped from the water bottle and Tree's crew moved on, animal welfare officials came by.

The koala was in pain but recovering with antibiotics, Jenny Shaw of the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter told Melbourne's The Herald Sun newspaper.

"She is lovely - very docile - and she has already got an admirer. A male koala keeps putting his arms around her," Shaw was quoted as saying. "It will be a long road to recovery, but she should be able to be released back into the wild in about five months."

The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals said it was establishing shelters to care for thousands of pets and livestock affected by the fires.

Despite her gender, the now famous koala is nicknamed Sam.



PurpleUmbrella PurpleUmbrella
31-35, F
8 Responses Feb 14, 2009

Ive folowd the story of Sam...didnt we lose him eventualy?...but was extremely heartened to see ppl caring about the animals.<br />
I grew up in St.Andrews/cottles bridge/Hurstbridge so was devastated by the amount of animal lives I knew would be lost and even worse the animals in pain when we couldnt go in cos it was a crime scene for so long.<br />
I volunteer in a wildlife park up Barwon Heads way and we are putting together a Team Rescue for this years summer as we are sadly expecting more fires.<br />
Im so glad to hear others are as upset about the animals as I am.

THANK YOU for caring and for sharing about this. I agree 100% and always think of our other-than-human brothers and sisters first in every disaster, because I love them. No one counts them, but the Creator certainly loves every one of them and counts each one as precious. May we be as caring.

Thank you everyone for commenting!<br />
I wish I had the money and time to go and help the animals, but for now, my prayers will have to do!

I lived through the Ash Wednesday Fires, and as soon as the fire got to within 60km.....we evacuated ! <br />
<br />
The fire didn't reach us, but we were prepared just to let the house go....family and pets were more important.<br />
<br />
Don't know why the victorians stayed....there was a extreme fire alert with high index figures issued the day before the fires started.<br />
<br />
Humans have the option to leave and save themselves....in my opinion.....stupid if they think they can beat a firestorm with a garden hose !!!!!<br />
<br />
ANIMALS.....on the other hand.....suffer terribly.....especiallly koalas !!!<br />
<br />
Anyone who waits until they can see fire & smoke is an idiot in that part of Victoria.......drive 100's of kms away and stay in a caravan park....hell I'd live in my car 100s of kms away rather than burn to death in my house.<br />
<br />
Sorry, but my pain is not with the idiots who stayed but the ANIMALS.

There were so many Vets Volunteering their time and Resources and also an appeal for the animals!<br />
<br />
There were also donations of food and fodder from all over the country!

This is a bright spot in a very scary story, Purple. Thanks for posting it.<br><br><br />
One of my dearest friends lives in Victoria, and I just spoke to her last night. Her area hasn't yet burned, but she is living with the stress of that threat every minute of the day. And from what she tells me, once you see the smoke, you have to RUN and not look back because the firestorm moves so quickly. She and her boyfriend are actually building a bunker their garage in case they're unable to escape and have to try to ride it out. She told me there's a website for citizens who want to offer help, and that many are offering to shelter both human and animal victims. She is fostering homeless cats and just praying that this nightmare will be over soon.

Me too xxxxxxxxxx

I just wish I had the time and money to go and help the animals.