The animals are the pride of Australia, and millions of people all over the world are contributing to countless relief projects to protect these creatures.
Australia has seen greatly rough times since September 2019, when massive wildfires simultaneously picked up in various regions around the country. In what is being regarded as the worst wildfire situation since the Black Saturdays of 2009, over 6.3 million hectares (63,000 sq. km or 15.6 million acres) of Australian bushes and forests have been destroyed in uncontrollable fires . An estimated half-billion animals cutting across thousands of species have been killed in the fires, and several more are suffering from varying degrees of injuries. 24 people have been recorded dead.
Emergency services and thousands of volunteers across the country have been working non-stop for the past three months to contain the fires. A bit of respite came two days ago for the country when it rained in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, and some other parts of New South Wales. The damp weather might give firefighters a chance to contain some of the smaller fires, but the country is not out of the woods yet.
Relief for injured animals
Australia is a wildlife country, known for its enormous population of species of the most unique and incredible animals in the world. Some of the native animals are very popular, such as the kangaroos, koalas, and possums, while many others are not known by people within and outside the country.
Sadly, over 500 million of these animals have been killed in the wildfires, and so many have been injured while trying to get to safety. With their natural habitats destroyed and no chances of migration, several ecosystems in Australia face possible extinction if the animals are not rescued and rehabilitated.
A non-profit organization called Rescue Craft Collective, a subsidiary of the Animal Rescue Craft Guild is distributing knitted mitten, gloves, nests, pouches and blankets to hospitalized animals, many of whom are suffering varying degrees of burns, scalds, and respiratory distress .
Australia’s wildlife hospitals are full of injured koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, pygmy possums, and other animals that have fallen victim to the bush fires. Several non-profit organizations have set up camps and relief homes to assist hospitals in providing medical care to the animals.
Founded by Australia’s Morgan Leigh, the organization has chapters in several countries, with thousands of volunteers working free of charge to provide comfortable clothing for the animals. Leigh says they have enough mittens now to serve all the injured koalas, but they are working towards proving more pouches for the baby joeys, nests for birds and rodents, and wraps for bats.
“If it’s an animal that’s lived in the bush they’re ending up in wildlife hospitals at the moment,” said Nicole Blums, one of the organization’s organizers . “Reptiles, koalas, joeys, snakes are all being found by people either trying to escape the fires or being caught in them. We have had people knitting koala mittens for burnt pads and sewing pouches for marsupials. People are so passionate to help the animals, they want to save our national emblems and they want to do whatever they can to help.”
The items are made from 100% cotton flannel and other natural fiber.
Swaddling with love
Some of the animals are emotionally traumatized as they’ve watched their parents and offspring get burned in the fires. There are photos and videos of koalas clutching their dead babies and burnt joeys holding onto their dying others. These animals are in deep need of love, care, and companionship in these distressing times.
Blums explained that the organization has raised over $75,000 to support koala hospitals in the most affected regions. There are over 1,000 volunteers assisting health care providers in managing the increasing numbers of animals.
“There are many areas that no-one can get into at the moment – people are finding animals on the side of the road or in the homes as they’re fleeing out of the bush,” Blums said. “We’re getting them the supplies they need but we do know this is the tip of the iceberg and the worse is yet to come.”
Australia will heal and recover, in due time. She’s a strong nation with brave citizens who are passionate about keeping their home together. Click HERE to sign up on Rescue Craft and lend a hand to the noble cause.
- Reporter. Australia bushfires: Cooler weather brings respite, situation still volatile. DW. https://www.dw.com/en/australia-bushfires-cooler-weather-brings-respite-situation-still-volatile/a-51889829. Retrieved 07-01-2020
- Emily Brown. People Made Koala Mittens For Animals Whose Paws Got Burnt In Bushfire. Unilad. https://www.unilad.co.uk/animals/people-made-koala-mittens-for-animals-whose-paws-got-burnt-in-bushfire/. Retrieved 07-01-2020
- Rescue Craft Co. Facebook. https://web.facebook.com/groups/rescuecraftco/. Retrieved 07-01-2020
- Admin. Tens of Thousands of Knitters are Stitching Pouches and Mittens for Animals Burned in Australian Wildfires. Return to Now. https://returntonow.net/2020/01/07/tens-of-thousands-of-knitters-around-the-world-are-stitching-pouches-and-mittens-for-animals-burned-in-australian-bushfires/. Retrieved 07-01-2020
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