Koalas Fleeing Wildfires Need Mitten Donations!

Wildfires have been ripping through the Australian states of Victoria and South Australia, and some the blaze’s most vulnerable victims are the koala bears who live in the region. Jeremy the koala, the first fire victim to arrive at the Australian Marine Wildlife Research and Rescue Organization, has become something of a poster bear for the koalas’ plight. Four animal agencies have teamed up to treat him, and he wears special koala mittens to protect him from agitating the second-degree burns on his paws. His caretakers say he’s in good spirits and on the mend. Koalas have trouble escaping wildfires because they’re slow moving and spend so much time high above the ground in trees. Since the AMWRRO and other agencies are expecting many more victims, the International Fund for Animal Welfare is requesting koala mitten donations from around the world.

The Fund provided a simple sewing pattern to pull together the mittens, which should be made of clean 100 percent cotton material, like old sheets or tea towels. The design is meant to be easy to make, even if you’ve never sewn before. IFAW native wildlife campaigner Josey Sharrad shared just how urgent the need is in the donations appeal: “Just like any burns victim, koalas’ dressings need changing daily, meaning a constant supply of mittens is needed by wildlife carers.  Some burned koalas can take up to a year to fully recover.” Many koalas with burn-related injuries are able to go on to have normal, healthy lives back in the wild if they’re treated early enough. It also doesn’t hurt that they look damn cute in their mittens! Mitten 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. If you’d like to support AMWRRO, you can do so here. Check out these pictures of Jeremy’s recovery process for extra motivation! Happy sewing!



[Guardian UK]

[Images via Facebook/AMWRRO]