For the most part human beings are a compassionate lot. We hate to see suffering of any kind, especially that of our four-footed friends.
When wildfires began to tear through the states of Victoria and South Australia, koala bears were the first victims. Arboreal by nature (tree living), these marsupials were literally “up a tree” when the blaze trapped them; a eucalyptus tree, specifically, where they breed and feed. Koalas spend most of their time high above the ground clinging to the trees with their claws. On the ground they are slow moving and cumbersome.
According to news sources, the “first fire victim was Jeremy the koala taken in by the Australian Marine Wildlife Research and Rescue Organization. Jeremy has become the poster bear for the koalas’ plight.”
Now four other organizations have teamed up to treat him and the other koalas they know are out there. Special mittens sewn from clean 100% cotton material have been made for Jeremy. They work like burn dressings and must be changed often.
“The International Fund for Animal Welfare is requesting koala mitten donations from around the world. If you’d like to help, here is a link for the Koala mitten pattern which should be made from clean 100 percent cotton material, like old sheets or tea towels. Follow the directions carefully.
According to Josey Sharrad, “Just like any burn victim, koalas’ dressings need changing daily, meaning a constant supply of mittens is needed by wildlife care takers. Some burned koalas can take up to a year to fully recover. It also doesn’t hurt that they look damn cute in their mittens!”
Donations can be sent to IFAW, 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills 2010. From there, the IFAW will allocate the mittens wherever they’re needed most.
I was so touched by this tragedy and the sweet photos of these adorable marsupials that I had to do my part by spreading the word! There is nothing in the world more satisfying than helping others and that includes these helpless animals.
As I was raising my children, I nursed baby birds, turtles, dogs and kittens back to health. Sometimes I succeeded, and sometimes not. We lost a wonderful black dog named Buttons because he ran into the street chasing after my son. When he was hit by a car it broke all of our hearts. We buried him in our back yard.
Wild creatures have special needs and sometimes do not respond to our efforts to heal them. Gladly, professional teams of experts have the required knowledge to know and understand the specific needs of each species.
In Florida, professional teams have rescued and healed pelicans, sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and whales. Even with expert knowledge, a few fail to thrive. It is encouraging to see the interested people who crowd the beaches when a healed survivor is released. The earth belongs to all of us, and we should do our part to protect these defenseless creatures.
Cruelty in any shape or form should never be accepted. Intentionally starving, neglecting, or torturing an animal in anyway should not be tolerated. How we treat the innocent and unprotected says a lot about us as individuals. All life should be respected and cherished.