The current bushfires raging in Australia are the second installment in 6 months. The initial part was witnessed back in September 2019 which had equally devastating effects. Keli the koala was among the thousands affected and was about to die.
Keli the koala joey was rescued on 8th September from New South Wales when he weighed barely 300 grams. He was on the brink of death since almost all of his fur was lost. The burns he suffered had resulted in a fungal infection leading to his severe condition. Keli was at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for the last few months. This is one of the many hospitals overflowing with such burn victims from the Australian bushfires.
The hospital staff has been very dedicated in their efforts and after months of sustained care, they have released new images of Keli the koala. The images are testimony of how this joey had a near-death experience but the kindness of the humans around him brought him back. He is recovering very fast now and the hospital staff is very happy.
While the September fires were under control for a couple of months, the year-end saw a spike. The last couple of weeks have witnessed the as-of-yet worst bushfires which have impacted the wildlife Down Under the most. University of Sydney ecologists are of the opinion that this disaster has killed and injured more than 480 million animals, including endemic ones like koalas. Humans are affected by the fire as well and even New Zealand, 2,000 km away, is experiencing the drastic effects of the Australian bushfires.
The koala population has taken a massive hit with over 8000 being feared dead already. This population was concentrated in the mid-north coast of the state.
While we are happy for Keli the koala, we cannot bear to imagine how he will return to his home- or what is left of it. Sussan Ley, a minister, said in an interview that nearly 30% of koalas are already dead. They have to wait for the fires to calm down to come up with confirmed numbers. But as of now, the government is trying its best to create plans and safe corridors so that hospitalized animals can be safely released in due time.
The hospital taking care of Keli the koala is among the many dedicating their time to this cause. A GoFundMe page is live in order to support the hospital to save the animals affected by the fires. They have already raised over $3 million but the more they have, the better care they can provide to these innocent animals.
We can only hope that the Australian bushfires are controlled soon. The recent news of rainfall in the affected areas brings some relief to all.